The Foreign Exchange (FX) industry is highly competitive, though mostly dominated by the big four banks. When dealing in FX markets SMEs are at a significant information disadvantage and often small investors experience large losses on their trading accounts due to unpredictable market movements.
The volatility of the FX market can have a huge impact on SMEs and managing FX exposure appropriately is a key factor in maintaining profitable and sustainable businesses. A recent Global FX survey conducted by Deloitte found that the lack of visibility over FX exposures, reliable forecasts, and the manual nature of exposure quantification is a challenge for nearly 60 percent of respondents.
With the typical SME using spreadsheets to manually collate information across different systems, including their bank or FX provider, Sydney fintech startup CurrencyVue has created a SaaS platform to streamline the whole process to help SMEs more easily identify FX risk.
Founder of CurrencyVue Matthew Tyrrell said the platform aims to address the knowledge gap to help businesses make more informed hedging decisions and react quickly to market movements.
“The options available for an SMEs are expensive and complicated treasury management systems that cost more than $50,000 a year. Otherwise they use spreadsheets which can be prone to human error when dealing with the complexities of FX hedging,” he said.
CurrencyVue represents FX risk through a visual representation. The platform allows businesses to enter and then aggregate foreign invoices, purchase orders, and hedging contracts. Through a series of dashboards and visual elements, CurrencyVue presents a real time view of exposure.
Tyrrell said that CurrencyVue has tried to emulate Xero’s philosophy in designing software that is visually attractive and also intuitive to use. Visual elements increase the levels of user engagement and understanding, making it possible for people to increase their learning capacity.
This technique has also been adopted by another fintech startup, Simply Wall St, which helps Gen Ys make sense of the complicated stock exchange. Data presented in a neat and visually way helps small businesses and younger generations navigate through traditionally complex industries.
CurrencyVue can assist small businesses in saving large amounts of money through imports and exports on the FX. One example of where the platform could help is the recent devaluation of the British pound following Brexit.
“In the post Brexit market shock, the pound fell by about 10 percent against the US dollar. To put this into perspective, this is the biggest one day drop in history. For an unhedged importer in the UK paying for goods in USD, this meant overnight they would be adding an extra 10 percent to their cost of goods,” Tyrrell explained.
CurrencyVue is currently working on integrations with some major accounting systems including MYOB, Xero and Sage, among others. SMEs pay a $60 month subscription fee for access to all functions.
The startup recently launched its MVP. where users can sign up for a 30 day free trial. As CurrencyVue adds functionality to the base platform, Tyrrell said pricing plans will change.
For now the startup is based at BlueChilli, though has secured desk space at Stone & Chalk. CurrencyVue has also received an undisclosed amount of funding from a group of private investors, including seniors from some of the major banks and well known fintech businesses. CurrencyVue is also one of the first fintech companies to receive funding from the recently announced NSW Innovation MVP grant.
For the next 12 months, CurrencyVue will look to raise more capital to expand into global markets.
Tyrrell said, “The problem we are trying to solve is global and the UK is the big market for us due to its proximity to Europe. A successful 12 months will see us with an early presence there. We will also be releasing integrations with the major accounting and ERP packages to give us a channel to market and building out further functionality based our early customer feedback.”
Image: Matthew Tyrrell. Source: Supplied.