The €20 million loan from the European investment bank will help Azimo expand its services in Europe and push towards the UN’s drive to improve financial inclusion.
Money transfer service Azimo has received a welcome boost with news that the European Investment bank has provided €20 million worth of debt financing. The deal will help Azimo accelerate its rapid expansion, focus on product development and expand its technical team in Kraków, which houses most of its staff.
Founded in 2012, with an HQ in London, Azimo has been one of the rising stars of the fintech boom. It provides a fast online alternative to traditional banks for cross border money transfers and aims to address a market which it says has been let down by the traditional sector.
“While Europe is the largest international payments market in the world, it is poorly served by legacy providers, so slow delivery times and very high costs are the norm for European consumers and businesses,” said their founder and chairman Michael Kent. “At Azimo we are building a European payments champion with near-instant delivery at super low cost.”
Every year, overseas workers send around $650 billion back home to friends and family. However, with bank fees high and transaction times slow, services have been lacking. Azimo aims to address that issue by offering a faster and more affordable alternative.
In doing so, they believe they are helping to work towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals of financial inclusion and inequality reduction.
This latest loan, supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the financial pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, will help them to do that.
“People need to be able to transfer money as quickly and safely as possible,” said Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commission Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People. “This is a priority of the Commission and we will continue to support successful companies such as Azimo to boost the European fintech sector and improve the experience of millions of customers.”
Azimo has been growing rapidly over the past few years. It now has a local pay out network of 20,000 local banks in more than 200 countries. It hit profitability for the first time in 2019 with volumes growing 60% year on year. With 2020 seeing further acceleration, it hopes this financing will deliver the boost it needs to its mission of making international payments faster and more affordable.
Tom Cropper has been writing for us since 2015. Tom is a financial journalist and his work has appeared in titles such as the Guardian, Euromoney and many others.