Verto, a global B2B payments platform has raised $10 million in a Series A round of funding. Led by leading fintech investor Quona Capital, alongside Treasury, Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), TMT Investments, Unicorn Growth Capital, Zrosk Investment Management and P1 Ventures, Verto’s previous investors include Y Combinator, Accelerated Digital Ventures, and Ace & Company. The platform provides a fast, simple, and reliable way for SMEs to make payments to their suppliers. They spread across well over 200 countries with 39 currencies.
Launched in 2018 by Nigerian co-founders Ola Oyetayo and Anthony Oduwole, the pair saw firsthand that while trade and supply chains are increasingly global, international payments remain a complicated and expensive proposition. This was especially the case in emerging markets where local currencies are less familiar and less liquid than those of more developed economies.
Verto’s fast and frictionless global payments platform uses its “marketplace” solution to match businesses efficiently, especially where one of the currency pairs is an illiquid currency. “Using Verto’s three main products (Payments, Exchange & Multi-Currency account), business owners can now send cross-border B2B payments at FX rates up to nine times cheaper than they could through traditional banks, and with Verto wallets, businesses can hold money with us in 39 currencies and make instant cross-border payments to other companies on the Verto network in real-time,” said Oyetayo, CEO of Verto.
“While traditional peer-to-peer payment platforms often have transaction limits, the Verto platform facilitates payment volumes that are appropriate for MSMEs.”
Verto will use this investment to continue building its platform with the intention of enabling businesses move money across borders seamlessly and instantly. It will solve critical pain points in the B2B global payments industry expected to grow to nearly $200 trillion by 2028. That is well over six times the size of the retail payments market. The company also plans to accelerate its geographical expansion into emerging markets such as Africa, a region where SMEs cross-border payment needs are currently significantly under-addressed.
Oduwole, CTO, added, “We plan to expand our presence in emerging markets with this fund through a suite of top-class tech stacks. Geographically, this is an essential step towards our mission of “making international payments simple, fast and cheap. Our purposefully built tech infrastructure and payment rails enable instant cross-border payments in a way that is really exciting for businesses.”
The proliferation of peer-to-peer and remittance companies has started to address this pain point for consumers in emerging markets, the B2B market—which serves the SME sector and accounts for nearly 30 per cent of global imports and 45 per cent of total employment in emerging markets—has remained largely untouched.
“Low visibility and traceability, slow speeds and the high costs of cross-border payments all inhibit SME growth across global and emerging markets,” said Monica Brand Engel, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Quona Capital. “Verto’s innovative platform addresses these pain points, removing friction to make international payments fast, simple, and reliable—a key component of SME growth. We are proud to support Verto in this important and impactful work.”