Tech City's Azimo gets backing from German venture capital firm

Business secretary Vince Cable has described the backing of Azimo by e.ventures as evidence that the UK has the infrastructure, skills base and competitive edge to capitalise on its expertise in financial services.

Money transfer service Azimo has closed a $1 million (£615,000) seed financing round involving European backer e.ventures as well as UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and Tech City UK.

London-based Azimo was founded in 2012 by Michael Kent and Ricky Knox and allows users to send money from any internet-connected device. The market is forecast to be worth $500 billion annually by the World Bank.

The fundraising round has been endorsed by business secretary Vince Cable who says, ‘UKTI is working to ensure that the UK is leading the way in the FinTech revolution.

‘Competition in the financial services sector is vital to ensure consumers get the best deal possible and I commend Azimo on securing this financing.’

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Before setting up Azimo, Kent and Knox formed Small World Financial Services Group – a business which went on to produce a turnover of $4.5 billion.

Kent, CEO of Azimo, comments, ‘Every year, people are wasting more than £50 million by paying over-the-top remittance fees.

‘We have big ideas for using social, mobile and digital technology to share up money transfer to the developing world, which, for years, has held consumers hostage to excessive fees.’

Azimo will now be using its $1 million seed capital investment to expand its network and launch its service across the rest of Europe. The business has previously secured angel backing from well-known sources such as Matt Cooper, the founder of Capital One.

Andreas Haug, partner at e.ventures, adds, ‘The European financial services sector is ripe for reinvention, and British companies like Azimo are at the forefront of that process.

‘The team has done a fantastic job building a service whose simplicity masks the underlying complexity of what, for too long, has been a confusing and convoluted industry.’

More on London’s Tech City:

Hunter Ruthven

Bernard Williamson

Hunter was the Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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Venture capital funding