Azimo, the UK mobile remittance firm with links to Facebook, raised $20 million for expansion into mainland Europe.
The firm, which is reported as now having a $100 million valuation, is looking to the larger countries on the continent.
“We’re very much a European specialist,” CEO Michael Kent (pictured) told the Financial Times. “We think customers have traditionally been underserved in Germany, France and Spain, so we have big plans for those markets, while pushing into the whole of the EU. We’re looking to open additional jurisdictions for sending money.”
“To do Europe properly, you have to have a big network. But once you have that network, you can point it across the world,” he added.
A key partnership is with Facebook. A year ago, Azimo was one of a number of companies touted as a potential partner for Facebook, which has now entered the mobile money market.
Kent explained to Mobile World Live how the social network could play a key role in remittances. Such transactions involve authentication of the sender but also telling the recipient when cash is on the way, and how they can access it.
Facebook is perfectly placed to fill this role. The social network could act as “a facilitator of that flow of information which will bring down the cost of sending money,” said Kent.
And Azimo has leveraged its relationship with Facebook. This week Kent told Techcrunch that Facebook-based transfers represent around 25 percent of all transactions. He did not reveal which way he anticipates this figure heading as the business expands.
By signing into Azimo with Facebook, users can connect their two profiles. Their Azimo log-in, and any transactions made, are secured with their Facebook log-in and don’t require a separate password for Azimo.
If they prefer, users can set a separate password for Azimo by clicking Change Password on the My Account page.
Once connected to Facebook, Azimo customers can select Facebook friends to send money to, invite Facebook friends to enter their preferred payment details and tell a recipient they have sent money using Facebook.
Investors in the latest round include Frog Capital, with participation from MCI Investments and existing investors e.ventures and Greycroft Partners.