Azimo, the money transfer service that is headquartered in London, however, it has the maximum of its staff based in Poland, has managed to secure €20 million (approx $22.1M) in debt from the European Investment Bank (EIB), which is considered as the lending arm of the European Union.
Financing was supported by EFSI
The financing move is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the financial pillar of the European Union, “Investment Plan for Europe”. Azimo states the capital offered by EIB is going to be used to speed up the company’s Research and Development and to “scale up” its proprietary payments platform. This will consist of further job formation at the fintech’s Kraków offices, where right now 130 out of 160 total staff is located.
Till now, Azimo has managed to raise $50 million in terms of equity funding. Investors include eVentures, Rakuten, Greycroft and Frog Capital and in August the company stated it was profitable. It provides low-cost international payments to more than 200 countries and territories around the world and claims 2 million registered customers.
TechCrunch reported that Michael Kent, co-founder and executive chairman of Azimo said, “We are planning to use the finance to scale faster in Europe.” This will include spending in engineering and product talent, “so we can adapt our product for ever more countries and build ever-better instant payment rails.”
Besides, the fintech is planning to increase marketing investment and “spread the gospel of Azimo’s faster and cheaper proposition to more customers in the EU,” says Kent.
Securing Debt amidst Brexit
Meanwhile, considering the ongoing situation of Brexit, Azimo securing a line of credit from the EIB is interesting to watch. The company is a typical example of European tech scale-ups that have teams spread across the U.K. and continental Europe, bloom in part out of the U.K.’s membership of the EU and freedom of movement, which as of this week came to an end.
Kent has already had to reorganize the business by bagging in an e-money license in the Netherlands so that the company can continue to trade in Europe. Moreover, he has ideas on what the U.K. government requires to do next, specifically in context to getting European skilled labor, which he has called “lifeblood of fintech.”
“I have a very international team in London too and always will,” Kent told a reporter from TechCrunch. “I want to be able to keep them here and augment that team with top talent. Skilled tech workers are super mobile and they don’t come to London for the weather or the living costs but for the opportunities. The noises coming from government and eventually the policies are super important in framing how that target audience thinks.”
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