Innovation in foreign currency exchange has been focused on developed markets, with Emerging Market (EM) currencies trailing behind. The illiquid nature of EM currency pairs, the reduced correspondent banking relationships, and complex regulation demands the use of intermediaries – increasing the costs and friction to exchange.
Collaborating with participants across the market to address the challenge and bring price transparency, UK-based AbbeyCross has raised $2.47 million in a pre-seed funding round. The investment was led by Third Prime and backed by Communitas Capital and 11 angel investors from within the payments industry.
The B2B trading and compliance marketplace is focused on improving the underlying market infrastructure for EM currencies. The startup works with global banks, their currency suppliers, and other financial services providers.
Mike Robertson, CEO and co-founder of AbbeyCross said: “The current situation is intolerable and unsustainable for those who rely upon the exchange of EM currencies, the banks and payment providers and the regulators. Price transparency and deeper liquidity is desperately needed and that is what AbbeyCross intends to deliver.”
Keith Hamlin, founding partner at Third Prime, added: “While currencies can efficiently be swapped between developed markets, in emerging markets the cross-border payment ecosystems are opaque and lack competitive pricing. The AbbeyCross team brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this underserved segment of the payments market. Their cross-border EM payment platform will revolutionise the space by driving down costs.”
Doug Atkin, managing partner of Communitas Capital, concluded: “The AbbeyCross marketplace is going to change an industry, and we’re excited to work with a team that have the experience, expertise, and network to solve a challenge that is set to grow.”