French fintech iBanFirst is expanding into Central and Eastern Europe by opening its first office in the region, in Bucharest. The company expects to attract 500 clients to its trading platform in its first year of activity in the Romanian market, and a support team of 20 consultants.
iBanFirst operates an online platform that allows companies to conduct fast, secure and cost-effective transactions in over 30 currencies. Customers are able to track payments in real time thanks to the unique “payment tracker” function, which sets new standards of transparency for international cross-border payments.
The platform also integrates “open banking” facilities, which simplify the usual operations of corporate customers, such as payments. They can enter their foreign bank accounts into the iBanFirst platform to get an overview of all bank accounts and transactions, regardless of bank or currency.
“iBanFirst is at a stage where it is accelerating the expansion of its presence across Europe with the goal of making it easier for businesses to access agile, affordable and personalized global transaction solutions. Together with our new investor Marlin Equity Partners we believe that Central and Eastern Europe represents one of the markets with the highest growth potential for our company. We chose to enter this area with a first office in Romania because it shows very good signs of economic recovery post COVID-19, and companies are very open to new technologies, being ‘early adopters’. By combining the benefits of a state-of-the-art transaction platform available to clients with the support of an expert local team, we want to help as many businesses in Romania as possible to streamline their day-to-day operations and accelerate their growth plans,” said Pierre-Antoine Dusoulier, CEO and founder of iBanFirst.
The launch of the Romanian office and the expansion into Central and Eastern Europe are part of the company’s new growth strategy. This was made possible by the acquisition earlier this year of a majority stake by US fund Marlin Equity Partners, in a deal valued at €200 million. This made Marlin the majority shareholder of iBanFirst, with Pierre-Antoine Dusoulier, the company’s CEO and founder, taking second place.
iBanFirst’s office in the capital is served by a team of fintech specialists with experience gained both at home and abroad. They provide consultancy to Romanian companies involved in foreign trade activities to help them efficiently manage their international payments and foreign exchange risks. Clients benefit from the advantage of a dedicated account manager and regular meetings with the management team. In addition to the Romanian office, iBanFirst plans to open offices in Bulgaria and Hungary in the coming months.
Fintech iBanFirst has been included in the Financial Times 1000 Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies two years in a row (2020 – 2021) and in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Belgium (awarded 3 years in a row, 2018 – 2020).
Founded in Paris in 2013, iBanFirst is a French company based in Belgium with operations in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. It is regulated as a payment institution, serving more than 4,000 customers across Europe. A member of the SWIFT global interbank communication network and SEPA certified, iBanFirst holds AISP and PISP accreditations. The company has attracted funding from leading European venture capital funds, including Elaia, Bpifrance Large Venture and NJJ Capital. In May 2021, the company received a €200 million growth funding round from US investment fund Marlin Equity Partners.