Thursday 22 July 2021 11:37 am

Visa to buy London payments firm Currencycloud for £700m

Visa has inked a deal to buy London payments group Currencycloud in the latest move by a US buyer to swoop on the booming British tech sector.

The financial services giant today said the deal builds on an existing partnership between the companies and values Currencycloud at £700m inclusive of cash and retention incentives.

However, the total payment will be reduced by the outstanding equity of the London-based firm that Visa already owns.

Currencycloud, which was founded in 2007, enables banks and fintechs to provide foreign exchange services for cross-border payments. 

It has more than 500 clients operating in 180 countries, including Starling, Revolut, Seedrs and Oanda.

Visa, which took part in a $80m funding round for Currencycloud last year, said the acquisition will strengthen its existing foreign exchange services to better serve banking and fintech clients.

It comes a month after Visa snapped up Swedish open banking platform Tink for €1.8bn (£1.5bn) — a deal that itself followed a collapsed $5.3bn merger with fintech firm Plaid earlier this year.

“The acquisition of Currencycloud is another example of Visa executing on our network of networks strategy to facilitate global money movement,” said Colleen Ostrowski, Visa’s global treasurer. 

“Consumers and businesses increasingly expect transparency, speed and simplicity when making or receiving international payments. With our acquisition of Currencycloud, we can support our clients and partners to further reduce the pain points of cross-border payments and develop great user experiences for their customers.”

Currencycloud chief executive Mike Laven added: “The combination of Currencycloud’s fintech expertise and Visa’s network will enable us to deliver greater customer value to the businesses moving money across borders.”

The deal is the latest example of a takeover move by a US company on a British company — a trend that has drawn criticism in the City and among politicians.

London-listed cyber firm Avast last week confirmed it was in takeover discussions with NortonLifeLock, while US private equity firms have swooped on a number of companies including Morrisons, Asda, John Laing and the AA.