FXPress Payment Services, a fintech firm hoping to bring a technological edge to the burgeoning foreign exchange industry, is planning to list in London in the first half of the year.
The company, backed by a trio of City heavyweights including former Interserve chairman Glyn Barker; Elliott Mannis, previously the chief financial officer of Anglian Water, and corporate lawyer, Gareth Edwards, is currently on the lookout for a cash shell on London’s AIM market in order to execute a reverse takeover.
FXPress specialises in bulk mass payments for small and medium-sized business and is attempting to cement itself into an industry niche between companies catering to individuals and those serving large corporates.
There are a number of foreign exchange firms. What gives FXPress the edge is that its cloud-based technology, says Jason Conibear, chief executive.
This allows multiple processes such as ordering foreign currency and communicating with a customer’s bank to be automated.
The technology is modular, allowing the company to offer different services to clients as well. There’s also the potential to ‘white label’ the platform.
“The [competitor tech] is all in the same box, whereas what we’ve designed is a number of different boxes than can be turned on and off,” Conibear told Proactive.
The company is already seeing significant demand for its services, having processed £115mln in foreign exchange transactions when it last totted up in November, up strongly from around six months ago when the business handled a quarter of that figure.
FXPress generated revenues from currency trading of £1.15mln in the last quarter, giving it an annual run rate of £4.6mln.
The growth story shows no signs of slowing, with the company interested in acquiring as many as 15 smaller firms, known as client aggregators, to help funnel in more business.
Conibear adds that the group is open to working with other firms in the sector who may be able to use its technology to better streamline their operations.
“There are many companies out there with significant client lists but do not have decent banking lines or liquidity…so we provide our technology and infrastructure to allow them to service their customer base,” he says.
FXPress is currently engaged in a pre-IPO funding round to raise £1.2mln. Once it does list, it will join a thriving sector that includes Alpha FX (LON:AFX) and Argentex (LON:AGFX). FXPress, Conibear says, is an opportunity to “get in on the ground floor”.
If some of the firm’s rivals have scale, FXPress has the tech that should allow it to expand quickly, perhaps even consolidating rivals using its platform.
“If you don’t have tech you can’t scale your business…there are a significant number of players, including some of the more well-known brands, who currently suffer from a lack of capability”, Conibear says.