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South Africans develop award-winning UK forex exchange

South Africans develop award-winning UK forex exchange

Tuesday, 17 September 2019: Most travellers return from foreign trips with notes and coins in various foreign currencies and land up storing them in drawers. Fourex, developed by South Africans and with a largely South African board, provides an innovative self-service kiosk for exchanging 150 currencies in both coins and notes. Already at 67 high foot-traffic locations and growing rapidly, Fourex plans to be the interface between cash and digital and is rolling out in the UK and then internationally.

The founders invested more than R18 million in developing these Fourex kiosks.

Forex retailers have limited multi-currency acceptance, especially for coins. As a result, if the currency is not donated to charities on the plane or spent on souvenirs, it is generally rarely used again. The kiosks allow travellers to exchange money from over 150 currencies into cash, paid out in major currencies (pounds, euros or US dollars) without paying any commission or fees. Even out of circulation coins and notes are accepted.

An estimated £2.5bn in leftover foreign currency returns to the UK each year. Fourex gives customers a convenient way to cash in all their leftover money instantly, regardless of the currency.

Fourex, based in the UK has a well-known South African board, with extensive entrepreneurial and global expansion experience. They include founder Oliver Du Toit; Susi Du Toit; Larry Lipschitz (founded Super Group); Brett Dawson (who was CEO of Dimension Data for 12 years and has since founded Campan, a private equity fund specialising in nurturing early stage businesses); Hugh Bauer (a partner at Calculus Capital) and Chris Ball (co-founder of Fincheck, SA’s largest financial comparison site).

Fourex has expanded from 10 locations at the start of 2018 to 67 locations and plans to have 80 sites live by year-end. Its solution has won innovation awards from Virgin, Lloyds Bank and Amazon. Ongoing expansion is focused on international gateways; airports, rail terminals, ports and high footfall retail locations. Over 153 million passengers at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted Airports now have access to Fourex kiosks.

The kiosks can process 300 coins per minute without the customer needing to separate them. With their high-speed image recognition technology and a database of over one million reference points, the kiosks can exchange both coins and notes in the same transaction using a real-time pricing solution.

Crowdfunding round

Fourex has opened its second round of crowdfunding to raise R16.3 million and is inviting South Africans to participate. Its first round was oversubscribed by 243%. Fourex revenue has grown by 175% in two years, reaching £1.98 million (over R36 million).

Anthony Rice CEO of FourexAnthony Rice, Fourex CEO said: “A strong majority of Fourex investors are South African so we believe there will be appetite to participate in this next round.

We expect to maintain our high rate of growth. We will expand our reach across the UK and will accelerate our plans to move into international markets. New digital conversion options are on the cards and this expansion will drive revenue. Fourex will become the primary self-service interface between cash and digital money.”

To allow customers increased flexibility to transfer between their physical and digital wallets, Fourex will implement the next phase of innovation with this latest fundraise. An online currency pre-order and option will make it possible to credit or withdraw using a digital wallet in a simple and engaging way. This will give the customer freedom to process, pay and deposit their foreign and domestic currency conveniently and safely.

Fourex is open to investment from South Africa through Crowdcube.

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