Travelex launches new £25m Digital Growth Fund

Investment will make strategic seed investments and acquisitions in FinTech and retail sectors

Foreign exchange giant Travelex announced the launch of a new £25m investment fund, set to back early-stage companies in the retail and financial technology (FinTech) sectors.

The Digital Growth Fund, touted as the first of its kind in the foreign exchange sector, will allow Travelex to make “strategic” seed investments and technology acquisitions in the FinTech and retail sectors.

Its aim will be to develop new products and services linked to mobile, payments, e-wallets, crypto-currency and location technology.

Travelex claims to be the world’s largest foreign exchange specialist, operating in 21 markets with 1,500 stores and 1,250 ATMs across 28 countries.

The launch of its Fund is the latest step in a concerted push into digital innovation, with the company having recently recruited former Google, eHarmony and Shutl executive Sean Cornwell and MOO.com  executive Dave Wascha to the newly-created roles of chief digital officer and global head of digital products.

Travelex’s strategy has been seen as an attempt to compete directly with emerging players in the online foreign exchange market, such as peer-to-peer currency exchange platform Kantox and Startups 100-listed international money transfer platform Transferwise.

Sean Cornwell, chief digital officer at Travelex, commented: “Travelex has been innovating in the FX market for 38 years and around 40 per cent of our UK retail sales are already digital in origin, through either online or mobile channels.

“The new digital growth fund will capitalise further on this foundation to develop even more new and easy ways to solve customer problems with sending and spending money abroad. It will also offer small startups the opportunity to work with a credible and reputable brand, test new ideas and bring the latest technology to our customers and partners around the world.”

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