CURRENCYVUE’S CEO ON THE GOVERNMENT GRANT THAT IS HELPING HIS FINTECH START-UP TO MARKET
Sydney FinTech start-up CurrencyVue has received financial support from the state government’s job creation agency to develop and test an affordable, easy-to-use foreign exchange (FX) platform for SMEs.
The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) grant from Jobs for NSW helped CurrencyVue – a graduate of the BlueChilli accelerator program – cover 15% of its development costs, according to founder and CEO Matthew Tyrrell. He spoke to Dynamic Business (DB) about the company’s cloud-based platform, which integrates with banking and accounting systems to help SMEs manage currency exposure risks, as well as the support provided by Jobs for NSW.
The platform has native connectors with six of the major mid-market ERP systems. These connectors pull foreign currency denominated purchase orders, invoices and sales orders into the platform’s secure and encrypted databases. This provides users with a real-time view of their FX exposures through a series of dashboards and visual analytics. Users can also make payments and execute hedging directly from the system.
DB: WHAT PROBLEMS DOES IT ADDRESS FOR SMES?
Tyrrell: An FX transaction risk exists from the time a purchase order or invoice is raised to when the payment occurs. Over this period, currency market fluctuations alter the underlying cost of these invoices creating cash flow uncertainty and potentially eroding margins. Businesses mitigate this risk by entering into hedging contracts to smooth the effect that currency volatility has on their cash flow.
Having met with hundreds of CFOs during my time selling FX payment and hedging solutions to the SME market, I came to realise there were huge inefficiencies in the way businesses were managing their FX hedging process; namely, they were using complicated spreadsheets, manually collating information from their ERP/accounting system, as well as their bank and other internal sources, which exposes them to the risk of human error. Because this clunky process, businesses often have difficulty in identifying FX risk in their business. This led me to found CurrencyVue in 2015.
DB: WHAT SUPPORT HAS YOUR START-UP OBTAINED?
Tyrrell: Any source of funding for a start-up is extremely valuable. We’ve received some funding through the R&D tax incentive as well as through some angel investors. In terms of the MVP grant, it made a lot of sense to apply to Jobs for NSW for this assistance as we were going through the process of building the MVP. I’d learnt about the agency through the R&D tax consultant I had engaged. To qualify, we had to be building an MVP and our development work needed to be in NSW.
DB: HOW USEFUL HAS THE MVP GRANT BEEN?
Tyrrell: The overarching objective of this grant is to directly contribute to the creation of jobs in NSW. For this reason, we are now employing two developers and have engaged numerous contractors. We also believe the work we are doing will indirectly lead to more jobs in NSW by helping the state’s exporters to streamline and automate processes, reduce costs and simply be more competitive.
As a start-up, you need to be resourceful, so we would of got there without the funding, but the MVP grant has been very helpful as it has contributed about 15% to the development costs. We are now talking to Jobs for NSW about their Building Partnerships grant that will be an extremely valuable source of funding as we ramp up our development work to launch our ‘commercially viable product’ (CVP) in August.
About Jobs for NSW
Jobs for NSW offers gazelles and start-ups, as well as incubators and accelerators, a suite of financial products designed to accelerate business growth and generate new jobs across the state. These include: Minimum Viable Product (MVP) grants of up to $25,000 for pre-revenue start-ups, Building Partnerships (BP) grants of up to $100,000 for start-ups ready to scale; an Accelerating Growth Loan (AGL) and a Gazelle Loan Guarantee (GLG) for SMEs; bespoke grants and loans for incubators and accelerators; and the Regional Jobs Now (RJN) package to fuel job creation across regional NSW.