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B2B Payments Platform Verto Raises $10M

The B2B payments platform VertoFX says it has raised $10 million in Series A funding to help expand the list of currencies on its platform. The London and Nigeria-based company allows small and medium-sized businesses to pay suppliers, focusing on emerging markets.

As TechCrunch noted on Thursday (Sept. 30) in its report on the funding, VertoFX is operating in a space where many of the FinTechs offering solutions connected to peer-to-peer payments and remittances are doing so from a consumer-focused perspective. That’s part of the reason that founders Ola Oyetayo and Anthony Oduwole launched VertoFX in 2018, the report said, with the pair taking an emerging markets approach.

Read more: The B2B Marketplace Fix for FX in Emerging Markets

In an interview with PYMNTS’ Karen Webster in 2019, Oduwole said he and Oyetayo were inspired to launch the company when inflation drove the dollar to be worth several hundred Nigerian naira, compared to the previous rate of 150 naira to the dollar.

This led Nigeria’s central bank to limit the number of dollars in circulation to stifle inflation. Local banks did not have as many dollars in reserve, meaning Nigerian firms couldn’t swap currencies to pay their suppliers. “It’s a layer of bureaucracy and inefficiency,” Oduwole said of the process — particularly for the end clients who may not have the deep banking relationships or technology to access locally sourced foreign currencies.

According to TechCrunch, VertoFX expects to increase the list of currencies on its platform to 51. Right now, the company has just African currencies, covering 60% of that continent’s GDP. With B2B global payments expected to gross nearly $200 trillion as an industry in the next seven years, VertoFX says it hopes to expand into additional markets in Africa and the Middle East.

“We want to get to a point in the future where someone can easily swap a Ghanian cedi to rand without having to transact with dollars or euros,” the founders said.

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