FORMER ROBINHOOD EMPLOYEES LAUNCH ATLANTIC MONEY. FLAT FEE TRANSFER SERVICE
Two former Robinhood employees aim to leverage Wise, PayPal and other global money transfer services by launching Atlantic Money, a fixed-fee platform that promises to be a better deal than other foreign exchange (FX) services. Atlantic Money is a money transfer financial technology founded by two former Robinhood employees, Neeraj Paid and Patrick Kavanaugh, that has come out of stealth today, promoting itself as a second-generation competitor to Wise, PayPal and Revolut.
While at Robinhood, Baid and Kavanagh were involved in the international projects of the American broker, tasked with looking to expand into Europe. Although Robinhood eventually decided to abandon its UK launch, the two said it was this experience that eventually sparked interest in launching money transfer technology that caters to the UK market. Neeraj Bed and Patrick Kavanaugh left Robinhood and Silicon Valley in late 2020 and “jumped On a trip to London to see what we’re going to do next,” according to a blog post on Wednesday (March 9). It wasn’t long before they both realized the difficulties and expense associated with “dividing up financial life across continents,” as the post states. They have had friction “even when using ‘competitive’ fintech platforms that we had assumed disrupted the banks’ monopoly on the industry.”
Baid and Kavanagh have been working on the startup in stealth for 18 months, and his international team includes former employees of Wise, Tinkoff, Monzo, Amazon and Freetrade, according to the publication. The fee structure is £3 (about $4), with a 0% foreign currency margin for transfers of up to £1 million (about $1.3 million). We have now built, from the start, a vertically integrated technology and regulatory suite that connects retail clients directly to the global FX markets,’ the publication stated. ‘In doing so, we have removed the cost and margin layers from sending money internationally.’ The startup is backed by Amplo VC, Ribbit Capital, Index Ventures, Kleiner Perkins, Harry Stebbings, Elefund, Susa Ventures, Day One Capital, and the founders of Robinhood, according to the publication. The app is pretty straightforward – no added features unrelated to the core service, just a very simple money transfer solution,’ the post read. ‘And most importantly, the fees are low – up to 99% cheaper than anyone else in the world.’
At launch, the service will initially be available to UK residents looking to move amounts from £1,000 to £1 million into nine other currencies – including the US dollar, the Australian dollar and the euro. In the crowded UK money transfer market, they say their product stands out because it focuses on doing one job well – Baid says – ‘we’re not interested in building an extraordinary app’, and we have a £3 flat fee. The founders say they are able to do this by connecting their customers to an enterprise-grade currency conversion solution via its app.”Our fees are low,” Bede said in an interview. “Especially if you make £1,000, you’re looking at 50-80% savings compared to anyone else in the market, which is something we’re incredibly proud of – we also profit from every conversion.”
A fixed fee transfer service is a type of fee charged by banks and exchange service providers for sending money abroad.
Often the largest cost associated with making an international money transfer, fixed fees tend to be charged by banks and traditional currency exchange service providers, such as MoneyGram and Western Union, often by newer specialized providers, such as Skrill and TransferWise. (Usually these services only charge a small commission or an exchange rate margin).