Currency Exchange Platform Founded By Nigerians And Backed By Y-Combinator Raises $2.1M

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
currency exchange platform
Nigerian naira currency at a bureau de change, in Lagos, Nigeria. Photo – AP – Sunday Alamba

VertoFX, an Africa- and emerging markets-focused currency exchange platform founded by Nigerian bankers, has raised a $2.1-million seed round.

The funding was led by Accelerated Digital Ventures, a London-based venture investment firm that backs digital tech companies, according to a VertoFX blog post.

Backed by Y Combinator, VertoFX is a business-to-business currency exchange platform for international companies and offers access to 18 currencies.

The platform helps companies pay suppliers abroad, collect payments from customers, and make foreign currency transactions globally.

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A currency exchange platform for exotic currencies

London-based VertoFX’s platform makes it possible for businesses and banks to exchange and make payments in Nigerian naira, Ethiopian birr, Egyptian pound, and other African currencies that are typically more difficult and expensive to trade, Techcrunch reports.

These are considered exotic currencies, according to Investopedia.

The platform also supports the more widely-traded currencies such as the U.S. dollar, British pound, and South African rand.

VertoFX is expected to use the $2.1 million seed round to scale its technology, expand its operations to more emerging countries and increase the number of currencies available on its platform, Tech.eu reports.

VertoFX’s founders are Nigerian ex-bankers Anthony Oduwole and Ola Oyetayo living in the U.K., Ventureburn reports.

They both worked for banks in London including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Lloyds Banking Group, and Barclays Bank before founding VertoFX in 2017.

The fintech company was part of the Y Combinator 2019 winter cohort. The Silicon Valley accelerator is considered one of the world’s most powerful startup accelerator programs.

VertoFX was one of five winning startups from the Demo Africa 2018 event in Casablanca, according to Techweez.