French Startup Nabs $11M To Start New SME Bank

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A France-based FinTech startup just secured $11 million in funding to expand its small business services.

IbanFirst’s venture capital round, led by Xavier Niel, was revealed in reports on Tuesday (Oct. 18). The company offers foreign exchange services for SMEs, but according to TechCrunch reports, the startup will use the latest investment to expand its financial services offerings to become more like a bank.

Foreign exchange services are big money with SMEs for traditional banks. A report released earlier this year by cross-border payments firm Covercy found that U.K. SMEs are paying excessively high fees for their FX services. A company with an average of 20 FX transactions a month, each totaling $1,300, can pay more than $1,400 a month in fees, researchers found.

The company has already secured a banking license in Belgium, reports said, allowing it to operate as a bank across the European Union. IbanFirst highlights the speed with which SMEs can set up their bank accounts and receive an IBAN. With its FX services, IbanFirst offers competitive rates for small businesses to exchange money and make payments across borders…