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Marlin To Invest In Cloud-Based FX Platform iBanFirst

Marlin Equity Partners announced a definitive agreement for a “growth investment” in iBanFirst, a provider of B2B cloud-based services traditionally offered by banks, according to a press release.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but iBanFirst stated in its own separate announcement of the deal: “Global private equity firm Marlin will become the FinTech’s largest shareholder, replacing existing business angels and some of the company’s early backers. Through the transaction, a number of iBanFirst’s historic partners, including top-tier venture capital firm Elaia, Bpifrance Large Venture and Xavier Niel, have strengthened their existing commitments. iBanFirst CEO and Founder Pierre-Antoine Dusoulier will become the company’s second-largest shareholder as part of the new agreement.”

iBanFirst stated in its announcement that it will use the new funds in part to drive expansion and will focus initially on the German market.

Describing iBanFirst’s business, Marlin’s release stated: “The company’s self-serve B2B [foreign exchange (FX)] management platform facilitates the execution of B2B payments, FX and hedging transactions across industry verticals and geographies, that are faster, more user-friendly and less expensive than traditional banking options.”

Marlin’s release stated that iBanFirst’s tools help customers reduce FX risk and are used by “thousands of enterprises, exchanges and investment funds globally.”

Cross-border payments are notoriously difficult when it comes to low transparency, slow processing speeds and hidden costs. As PYMNTS reported in April, the improvement of payments services in a variety of settings has increased customer expectations for improvements in cross-border payments.

“We are thrilled to partner with Marlin to accelerate our international expansion, strengthen our partnerships and cement our market leadership,” Dusoulier said in Marlin’s release. “The pandemic has underlined the importance of digitizing payment processes, managing FX risk and improving supply chain efficiency for our customers.”

Jeremy Nakache, a principal at Marlin, said in the Marlin release: “The company’s mission-critical platform is well-positioned to deliver rapid, scalable growth by addressing the multi-trillion-dollar global addressable market for B2B payments and FX solutions, and is supported by strong partnerships with market leaders.”

Marlin Equity Partners has more than $7.5 billion in assets under management, based on its release. The fund is based in Los Angeles.

iBanFirst was founded in Paris in 2013 by “former bank executives and entrepreneurs” and now is “a French company headquartered in Belgium,” the company’s announcement stated. iBanFirst has offices in France, Belgium, the Netherland and Germany and “serves thousands of customers all over Europe.”

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