ALT21, a London-based fintech startup, raises $21M in funding to grow its hedging platform

ALT21, a London-based startup and provider of an end-to-end platform for FX hedging, has closed $21 million (19.4 million euros) in funding, marking one of Europe’s largest pre-Series A funding rounds this year.

The influx of capital positions ALT21 for its next phase of growth, allowing the company to expand its impact on customers, broaden its reach by offering its software to fintechs and banks, and explore new geographical markets.

The latest funding will support ALT21’s growth ambitions, with plans to expand its roster of strategic partners to serve a broader spectrum of SMEs. The company also aims to expand its international presence, collaborating with global strategic partners. Additionally, ALT21 will license its software to a wider array of fintechs and banks, enabling them to offer more cost-effective FX services to their customers within their regulated operations.

Founded in 2016 by CEO Pritesh Ruparel, ALT21 is committed to simplifying the world of hedging, making it more accessible to a wider audience. The company achieves this through its API-first digital platform, which streamlines the hedging process, minimizes transactional friction, and facilitates global trade for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

ALT21’s mission is to simplify the world of hedging. Its comprehensive platform for FX hedging, available as both a SaaS (Software as a Service) and managed service, empowers financial and non-financial institutions to offer user-friendly, cost-effective, and self-service hedging services. This approach substantially boosts adoption, particularly among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Through its platform, strategic partners are able to integrate simplified hedging products into their businesses. This allows their SME clients to easily and cost-effectively shield themselves against currency risks. Over the past year, ALT21 has made significant investments in enhancing its technology platform, operational framework, and team, all in preparation for its rapid growth.

In 2022, the company’s operating income surged fivefold to 8.3 million euros. ALT21’s end-to-end digital hedging platform has been a focal point of these investments, with improvements in automation, user experience, operational infrastructure, processes, and team expansion. The company has nearly doubled its research and development team, increasing it to 37 members and raising its overall headcount to 68.

Looking ahead, ALT21 intends to invest in artificial intelligence and machine learning, aiming to bridge the gap between human interaction and trading applications for SMEs. This includes bolstering products like its hedgucation suite, which offers educational modules.

Commenting on the funding, Ruparel said: “I am really excited about the opportunity that lies ahead for ALT21. Our mission is to make things simple. We use technology to scale where others have added human capital, providing a highly automated service that cuts cost and complexity and gives value back to small businesses at a time when they need it most.

Ruparel added, “It’s a tough environment for raising money and, in this context, I really appreciate the continued support of our long-term investors and my Board, who recognize the size of the market opportunity as well as the progress we have made in maturing our business and platform. I look forward to showcasing to clients and select strategic partners the upgraded technology we’ve been working on.”

Richard Hayes, the Chairman, added: “This latest funding round serves as further important external validation of ALT21’s strategy, execution and market opportunity. The last 12 months have been difficult for fintech businesses in a rising interest rate environment, but the team at ALT21 has continued to execute strongly, strengthening the robustness of its platform and operations and adding world-class new talent. I’m proud to chair a talented board who will support Prit in building a team that goes on to create a scalable world-class fintech.”

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