Financial services provider iBanFirst, which delivers solutions across banking borders, has announced the completion of a growth equity investment to fund product development, international expansion and M&A. Global private equity firm Marlin will become the fintech’s largest shareholder, replacing existing business angels and some of the company’s early backers. Through the transaction, a number of iBanFirst’s historic partners, including top-tier venture capital firm Elaia, Bpifrance Large Venture and Xavier Niel, have strengthened their existing commitments. iBanFirst CEO and Founder, Pierre-Antoine Dusoulier, will become the company’s second-largest shareholder as part of the new agreement.
The move marks a shift in iBanFirst’s funding strategy to date, having already raised €46 million over three successive VC rounds since 2016. Teaming up with a global investment firm with over $7.5 billion of capital commitments under management and an extensive track record in B2B software not only adds an international dimension to iBanFirst’s shareholder base, but also offers a long-term financing solution that will enable the company to pursue its growth ambitions and establish itself as a global leader in B2B cross-border payments.
Since closing its previous funding round in June of last year, iBanFirst has continued to achieve significant revenue growth and expand its international presence. The company notably opened a new office in Munich and an additional R&D centre in Tunis in H2 of last year. Lauded for the quality of its expert team, employee numbers have also increased, from just sixteen to over two hundred and fifty in the past four years alone. Moving beyond traditional VC funding rounds, the structure will bring sustained financing to support iBanFirst’s long-term development and impressive growth trajectory, as it capitalises on the vast addressable market available for B2B financial services solutions.
iBanFirst will continue to focus on European expansion. Having recently extended its presence in Germany, the country will become an increasingly important market for iBanFirst. With plans to expand into Central and Eastern Europe over the coming quarters, the Franco-Belgian fintech company seeks to leverage its best-in-class core banking infrastructure and robust go-to-market credentials to generate the majority of its revenue in foreign markets by 2025. The company is also actively pursuing strategic partnerships and M&A opportunities in the UK and elsewhere.
“The growth equity deal struck with Marlin is a truly exciting chapter in the story of iBanFirst, which will greatly accelerate our international development while facilitating sustained revenue growth,” said Pierre-Antoine Dusoulier, iBanFirst’s CEO and Founder. “Beyond introducing our offer to new markets, leveraging our proprietary core banking infrastructure remains a priority. As iBanFirst continues to champion transparency and capitalise on the UX opportunities of open banking, we are pursuing a multi-partner strategy to connect our clients with various banking partners through our platform. More than ever before, this will offer them the chance to tailor their payment journeys to their most pressing needs, whether these be speed, cost effectiveness or otherwise. We simply wouldn’t be here without our growing SME and mid-market client base, and our mission to offer them the technology and expertise to best satisfy their FX and payment needs is at the very heart of our product innovations. The opportunities presented by the transaction with Marlin only stand to reinforce this model, as we step up our international expansion and remain true to our credo of delivering solutions across banking borders.”
“We have been extremely impressed by the iBanFirst team’s commitment to product leadership and dedicated focus on their customers’ needs,” said Jeremy Nakache, a principal at Marlin. “The company’s mission-critical platform is well positioned to deliver rapid, scalable growth by addressing the multi-trillion-dollar global market for B2B payments and FX solutions, and is supported by strong partnerships with market leaders. We are excited to partner with iBanFirst to continue to internationalise the business and further the company’s product leadership through additional investment into the platform.”
“Since first investing in iBanFirst in June of last year, our faith in the company and its exceptional team has only grown,” said Xavier Lazarus of Elaia. “iBanFirst’s ability to navigate an uncertain business climate, while continuing its growth trajectory, reflects the company’s strong fundamentals and the solid market demand for its truly novel offering. Choosing to invest further, alongside a seasoned private equity player like Marlin, only lends credence to our belief in the company’s upward momentum.”
The completion of the transaction is subject to applicable regulatory clearances and other customary closing conditions.