Products: FX hedging, investment and trading, multi-currency accounts with IBAN format to provide collection and payments in 30+ currencies.
Overview: Neo is a platform that brings treasury, payment, cash flow and FX execution functionality together. Rather than relying on a stack of siloed plugins and systems working on top of each other, which can increase operational risk, Neo offers access to all of these functions through a single platform. Its creators say they had envisioned a system like Neo for many years before its journey finally began in late 2016 when it received seed funding.
Since then, Neo has become one of the first fintechs to be regulated in dealing derivatives and to offer real-time FX pricing to hedge exposures. It is the first fintech to be dually regulated. It holds a MiFID II license for derivatives dealing, granted by the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores, the Spanish government agency responsible for the financial regulation of the securities markets. It also has a PSD2 license from the Bank of Spain, for payment activities. This dual set-up is what allows it to gather all hedging and cash management activities on a single platform.
It has established several partnerships along the way (see below) and developed features and services notably for an SME market that it feels had previously been ignored. The latest of its developments is its multi-currency accounts, which helps clients to make and receive payments in 30+ currencies.
It has over 100 clients, served through offices in London, Cambridge and Barcelona.
Clients:100+ across a number of industries including funds, fund administrators, asset managers, shipping and logistics, and the energy and commodities space.
Active region(s): Europe
Partners: Swift, 360T, Bpifrance, EBA Clearing
Elevator pitch: “For SMEs, there is no clear solution when it comes to international payments and treasury management. Treasurers today are subject to multiple pain points, with the majority unable to access the banking services they need with speed and efficiency. Opening a truly international account that lets you operate in any currency out of one single IBAN is not easily accessible to corporates and when it is available, there is hassle with the opening process and the outrageous fees that come with it. Neo has changed this. Neo comes with an all-in-one solution. It also offers significantly lower fees compared to banks. Nothing to install, no consulting, no painful integration. You simply open your account, and everything comes with it.”
TMI view: Neo sems to have grabbed a slice of a market that others will no doubt soon follow as more companies seek to trade cross-border. It will probably have little appeal for larger corporates with established bank relationships to maintain but for the smaller company seeking to spread into a number of European currency regions, being able to manage cashflow and FX in one cloud-based location, and potentially save on costs, should be attractive.
Verdict: Worth exploring for the smaller firm with cross-border ambitions.