After Amsterdam comes Berlin, iBanFirst settles across Europe
iBanFirst, global financial services provider delivering solutions across banking borders, today announced the acquisition of Forexfix, a German foreign-exchange start-up based in Berlin with clients across Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Paris, Wednesday 11 December 2019. After establishing itself in the Netherlands last month, iBanFirst, global financial services provider delivering solutions across banking borders, today announced the acquisition of Forexfix, a German foreign-exchange start-up based in Berlin with clients across Germany, Austria and Switzerland. As a result, Forexfix’s customers will benefit from iBanFirst’s award-winning online platform, a single interface to receive and make cross-border payments, hedge foreign exchange risks and finance their international growth. This takeover is instrumental in iBanFirst’s change of scale and contributes to the 5 billion euros in payments processed for its more than 3 000 clients this year.
An alliance of disruptors helping SMEs do business abroad
Founded in 2017 by Robert Kröber and Gerhard Maringer, Forexfix was one of the first online platforms in Germany for currency risk hedging and cross-border payments in major currencies. Apart from their belief that SMEs are underserved by traditional banks and overcharged on their foreign exchange transactions, Robert and Gerhard share with iBanFirst’s founders a drive to build outstanding financial services and user experience for businesses.
Robert Kröber, joining iBanFirst as VP Sales and Head of Germany, explained what the deal means for Forexfix’s customers: “Although very successful on the German-speaking market, Forexfix’s platform did not meet all needs, especially those of exporters receiving foreign currencies. This is where the iBanFirst platform comes into play as it offers a compelling solution for both importers and exporters. They will be able to open multicurrency accounts with dedicated IBANs in their names, aggregate all their accounts on a single interface, link their accounting system to the platform, and access a broader range of financial services such as dynamic hedging solutions.”
iBanFirst builds on the strength of its technology, personal service and Forexfix’s in-depth knowledge of the German-speaking market to further expand in Europe. As Robert Kröber noted: “This means ever-better financial services for international businesses in the German-speaking regions of Europe.” In Germany, five banking brands account for 90 per cent of the foreign exchange market but their fees have been up to four times higher than those of Forexfix. Many companies need to pay their Asian suppliers in dollars and trade with central and eastern European neighbours in local currencies. Online services are particularly suited to the German SME landscape made of businesses scattered over the country, especially so in its economically thriving southern and western parts, where these are based in rural towns.
Pierre-Antoine Dusoulier, CEO and founder of iBanFirst, commented: “We are pleased with this second acquisition this year, which not only expands our geographical footprint but also enhances our knowledge of the German-speaking market. This deal demonstrates iBanFirst’s ability to deliver relevant cross-border payment solutions for an ever-greater number of businesses throughout Europe and to scale up its operations in more and more countries.”
iBanFirst is a global financial services provider delivering solutions across banking borders. iBanFirst provides a specialist online platform for multicurrency transactions. As an alternative to the traditional bank offer, iBanFirst enables a payment experience and package of financial services addressing the needs of SMEs in their daily operations.
Thanks to iBanFirst, financial teams can pay and receive payments in any currency, hedge foreign exchange risks, finance their international growth.
Founded in Paris in 2013, at a stone’s throw from the Champs-Élysées, by former bank executives and entrepreneurs, iBanFirst is a French company headquartered in Belgium, with operations in France, the Netherlands and Germany. It is regulated as a payment institution passported throughout the European Union and serves more than 3 000 customers all over Europe. Member of the SWIFT network and SEPA homologated, iBanFirst holds AISP and PISP accreditations under PSD2. It has raised €25m from Xavier Niel and leading European venture capital funds Serena and Breega.