Digital money-transfer network Azimo added $15 million to its $25 million in VC funds today, bringing the London-based company’s total to around $40 million.
The strategic investment was led by Japanese fintech services company Rakuten, the organization that owns messaging service Viber. Existing investors—eVentures, Frog Capital, Greycroft, Accion and MCI Capital—also participated in the round.
The funds will be used to integrate Azimo’s money-transfer services into messaging apps and fuel the company’s expansion into Asia, which is home to seven of the top 10 remittance-receiving countries. Azimo already offers its services in a small portion of Asia. While 30% of its total transfers are sent to the region, the expansion efforts will enable more outbound remittances from Asia.
Michael Kent, CEO and founder of Azimo, explains:
While we weren’t actively looking for additional capital, the approach from Rakuten really appealed because of their presence in markets core to our long-term ambitions. They have a huge presence in Asia, they really understand consumer financial services, and, as owners of Viber, are a significant player in the social messaging market. The partnership will accelerate our Asian expansion and assist in our aim of developing ever deeper social network integrations.
Azimo is not disclosing its valuation but TechCrunch estimates it to be $100 million with the prospect of raising a bigger round of funding next year. Founded in 2012, the company operates in 190+ countries and 80+ currencies. Its network connects half a million people and has the potential to reach up to 5 billion people across the globe.
Founder and CEO Michael Kent and CTO Marek Wawro, co-founder, debuted Azimo’s social remittance network at FinovateEurope 2013.