The CEO's Letter

14 November 2018

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iBanFirst raised €10 million two years ago… We have just concluded our B Series, which stands at €15 million. This is clear evidence of our credibility and solidity, confirmed by some promising growth indicators:

  • iBanFirst now has 2,500 clients.
  • Between them, they carried out 40,000 transactions using our interface in 2018 (compared to 13,000 in 2016).
  • In total, 100,000 transactions have been registered since iBanFirst’s creation.
  • Over €2 billion have transited through the interface in 2018 (Compared to €450 million in 2016).
  • In total, a volume of nearly €5 billion has passed through since 2013.

We’ve come a long way since we created our FinTech five years ago!

And we want to go even further.

This round of funding gives us the opportunity to rethink the services we offer, to reflect on what we are today, on what we want to be tomorrow – against the backdrop of a revolution in our banking model.

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From a product stand-point…

 

But let’s just back up a bit. What services does iBanFirst currently offer?

We have built our reputation on FX payment and transfer solutions targeting companies with an international presence. Our product is:

  • fast (with free, instant bank transfers between iBanFirst accounts and precision tracking);
  • transparent (our clients can see the exchange rate and interbank rate that apply to them in real time);
  • ultra-competitive (0% commission on change and movement, no hidden fees);
  • practical and safe (iBanFirst is the only 100% online service that offers customised IBANs);
  • flexible, with an intuitive and ergonomic design, making for a smoother user experience;
  • and of course, international: our users can pay and get paid in 25 different currencies, with more to follow soon.

Our clients – Bensimon, Guard Industrie, Mobile Club, among others – are delighted with what we do for them, and understandably so: we help them save up to 70% on the costs of their international payments.

We have built our service range by taking full advantage of the opportunities opened up by the European Payment Services Directives, PSD 1 and PSD 2. By lifting the bank monopoly on services of this kind, requiring them to open up their client data and allowing other businesses to create payment platforms, they struck a tremendous blow to the inflexible banking sector that we see today.

These directives, which dust off a system that dates from the mid-1800s and bring it into the age of the Uber, planted the seed that grew into the FinTech landscape. Going forward, more and more clients will turn to these services, which are both cheaper and easier to use: a single interface to consult all of your bank accounts, to carry out all of your transactions, following a platform logic, and much more besides. So much so that traditional banks may see their role cut to that of a mere safety deposit box; the full effects of this shockwave are only just starting to make themselves felt.

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… to a platform logic

 

iBanFirst’s future will very much belong to this new dynamic. Today, we are operating under a product logic… We intend to fully embrace tomorrow’s platform logic.

The idea is that ultimately, our clients will be able to use the iBanFirst interface for all of their banking needs: to check their accounts, carry out FX operations, invest cash assets, finance their receivables when the rates are most favourable – critically saving businesses considerable amounts of time and money.

This strategy can be broken down into four development axes:

  1. We intend to build on the success of our existing products to offer more services and direct our clients towards new services, on our platform.
  2. By being able to offer a broader range of solutions, we will be able to acquire new clients – just as we always have done.
  3. We will fully capitalise on the data at our disposal to find out more about our users and their expectations, and thus optimise the client relationship, continually improving the quality of our service.
  4. On the basis of these strengths, we will continue to conquer new markets, to showcase our services internationally. If we are to do this, we must expand our solutions into new regions: we have already launched pilots in France, Belgium, Netherlands, several countries of Eastern Europe and are preparing to make our debut in Germany and Italy.

What makes iBanFirst’s development potential so great is that the European Payment Service Directives are the first of their kind in the world. We will continue to explore their full potential, making iBanFirst the business platform with an international presence.

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The latest funding round

This second fundraising round, involving our founding investor Xavier Niel alongside venture capital funds Serena (lead on this operation) and Breega, is set against this backdrop. The funds will allow us to grow into this new platform logic, whilst continuing to invest massively in research and development to ensure that we remain at the forefront.

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Compelling reasons to trust in us

Accredited by the National Bank of Belgium, we are SWIFT members and SEPA approved.

iBanFirst is also the first financial service aggregator to simultaneously hold AISP [1] and PISP [2] accreditations, for instance authorising banks to aggregate external bank accounts.

Our expertise has got us noticed:

  • iBanFirst was awarded the “emerging star” of the #FinTech100 classification published by KPMG and H2.
  • We were also voted the 2018 “FinTech scale-up of the year” in Belgium.
  • iBanFirst was also named by Deloitte as one of the 50 fastest-growing tech companies, the “Technology Fast 50”.

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A teamwork

You can’t set up a banking structure overnight… None of this would have been possible without our clients, our investors and all those who put their trust in us.

Nor would any of it have been possible without our teams – who skillfully combine the financial, technological and regulatory worlds, who share the same vision of the banking revolution underway; who work hard because they believe in what they do. Two years ago, iBanFirst employed 15 people, and there are 90 of us today. 90 stars all contributing their own individual talents to the shining success we now share.

To all of them, I would like to say a big thank you, bravo… And let’s keep it going.

This is just the beginning.

Pierre-Antoine Dusoulier
CEO and Founder of iBanFirst

[1] Account Information Service Provider (PSD 2).
[2] Payment Initiation Service Provider (PSD 2).

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