London-based online money transfer service Azimo has secured more than $1 million in a seed funding round led by e.ventures as it prepares to expand into Europe.
Launched last year, Azimo is bidding to take a slice of the huge remittance market, letting users send money to friends and family in 190 countries via the Web, mobile app or Facebook. Recipients can have the money sent straight to their bank account, a local cash collection site or to a mobile wallet as top-up credit.
With a typical charge of between one per cent and two per cent, the start-up claims to be far cheaper to use than the more established players, such as Western Union, PayPal and the banks, which currently dominate the $500 billion global online money transfer market.
Michael Kent, founder and CEO, Azimo, says: "Every year, people are wasting more than £50 million by paying over-the-top remittance fees. That's something Azimo is addressing, making it simpler and cheaper than ever to transfer money."
Technology-focused PE firm e.ventures is making the investment out of its German-based European office and is joined in the funding round by existing investors, including CapitalOne founder Matt Cooper.
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable, welcomed the news, saying: "This German investment into a British start-up demonstrates that the UK has the infrastructure, the skills base and the competitive edge to capitalise on our expertise in both financial services and digital technology and UKTI is working to ensure that the UK is leading the way in the FinTech revolution."
During the summer, Kent spoke to Finextra about the service and how it has managed to "hack" into the banking network.