Open Banking-enabled Fintech Currensea has reportedly acquired £2.4 million in capital from VCs Blackfinch Ventures and 1818 Venture Capital. The proceeds will be used to support the Fintech platform’s ongoing growth plans.
Currensea, which is the “money-saving” travel card that aims to eliminate the hefty banking fees associated with the foreign exchange by linking to users’ existing current accounts – has grown steadily during the past year.
Cardholder numbers have reportedly more than doubled to around 45,000, meanwhile, a crowdfunding campaign this last June secured £2 million via the Seedrs, surpassing the original target of £1 million within a few hours.
The investment made by Blackfinch Ventures, which has a 20-year investment established track record, and startup-focued 1818 Venture Capital brings the total amount acquired in 2022 to £4.55 million, while fundraising since inception has reached about £11 million.
The funds from the latest investment round will be channeled towards funding additional hiring and driving Currensea’s plans to acquire 300,000 users by the year 2024.
It will also enable the firm to further expand its ‘powered by’ offering which allows charities and businesses to provide branded cards, thus allowing clients save money when spending while also rounding up the UK spending to donate to various causes.
Dr. Reuben Wilcock, Head of Ventures at Blackfinch stated:
“We were hugely impressed by the drive and ambition of the Currensea team, who have created the UK’s first direct debit travel card. It is exciting to be backing such a forward-thinking firm. The Currensea team has already built an impressive business and we’re delighted to be supporting their growth ambitions.”
Richard Avery-Wright, founder of 1818 Venture Capital, remarked:
“We continually strive to invest in amazing founders who are passionate about disrupting the status quo in a positive and ethical way, such that society as a whole benefit. Our investment in Currensea exemplifies this brilliantly. We are thrilled that a Fintech company, such as Currensea, has successfully combined the convenience of open banking, significant FX savings when travelling abroad, and a seamless giving function to deliver on its strong societal purpose.”
Currensea’s solution is also reportedly more relevant following the cost-of-living crisis. UK travelers are losing £2.7 billion in foreign exchange fees each year by using their banking cards abroad.
Currensea allows clients to eliminate such charges while making international transactions directly from their existing current account, without having to create a new bank account or concerning themselves about keeping a prepaid card topped up.
James Lynn, Co-Founder of Currensea, added:
“This latest investment – which follows a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign earlier this year – is further evidence that there is a strong demand for an alternative to the foreign exchange trap that we’ve all been forced to endure for too long. Almost half of our Seedrs investors are Currensea users – demonstrating strong customer advocacy of the card – while our angel investors and two VCs place huge emphasis on investing in companies that are trying to do good, highlighting how strong our proposition is. We know customers love the simplicity of our money-saving solution, and now it is clear that investors see it as the answer to a fairer travel money market.”
Currensea clients may also support the Fintech firm’s sustainability goals – users can choose to to plant one tree for every 8p saved or eliminate 100 plastic bottles from the ocean for every £1 saved in foreign exchange fees.