A money transfer rival to Wise and Revolut founded by Robinhood alumni is expanding to North America and Australia.
Atlantic Money was set up in 2020 by earlier Robinhood employees, Neeraj Baid and Patrick Kavanagh — the former was one of its first engineers, the latter its first angel investor and an employee.
Its play to customers is that it charges a fixed fee of £3 for transfers up to £1m, which is a point of difference to rivals which charge transfer fees varying on how much transferred and the type of currency.
Already in Europe, Atlantic Money, which says it has more than 10,000 users transferring an average of £3,000, is now expanding to the US, Canada and Australia. It will offer services to individuals and businesses in the markets.
In Canada and Australia, the startup will operate under its own licence while in the US it has partnered with an unnamed regulated US bank to offer its services to businesses.
Baid, who lives in Japan, told Tech.eu:
“The biggest users of our product are people that have significant financial lives in multiple countries. You see a lot of cross-pollination between the UK, Europe and Canada, Australia and the US.”
Atlantic Money, whose staff work fully remote, is regulated as a payment institution in the UK and also has a National Bank of Belgium payment institution licence, which it passports across Europe.
“With the experience that we had in the UK and Europe, expanding to the new markets was very doable for us.
“A lot of the concepts overlap, the team has a lot of the same expertise that is usable across these different countries. The core regulatory framework is very similar.”
Baid said Atlantic Money would like to acquire its own US Money Transmission license over time, but said it was a lot harder compared to Europe, under passporting rules.
“In the US if you get one licence in one US state, then you got to go and get a licence in all the other states,” he said, adding it required a “lot of work” and a “lot of investment”.
Baid admitted its 10,000-plus user number was not “headline-grabbing” but said it was important to look at the startup’s trajectory and volume of transfers.
“Our user numbers tend not to be headline-grabbing big numbers because we are targeting a certain type of customer.
“The amount of volume we are moving relative to the age of the company is very high relative to any of our competitors.
“I think we hit milestones at least a year sooner than Wise in a lot of volume metrics. And that is because we are targeting different kinds of customers.”
He said the startup was not a money transfer service for all users, saying that if you want to send £50 across borders then, with its £3 flat fee, the service might not be for you.
Baid said Atlantic Money appealed to people who transfer money often, transferring over £1,000, want a great user experience, and want to optimise fees for their benefit.
He said the startup had no plans to bring down its £3 flat fee over time.
Baid said its proposition to businesses, which it launched last year, could be a key plank of the business.
“Until six months ago, the company was very much individual-focused and I think moving forward it makes sense for us to focus on both of these categories,” the CEO said.
In terms of revenues, he said business and retail customers could end up similarly sized for Atlantic Money.