A US fintech used by Google and Airbnb is opening a London office to take advantage of Brexit ‘opportunity’

Scott Galit Payoneer

LONDON — US fintech company Payoneer, which works with the likes of Google and Airbnb, is opening its first UK office in London to take advantage of the “opportunity” it thinks will be presented by Brexit.

Payoneer’s technology helps businesses send and receive money across borders online.

CEO Scott Galit told Business Insider that the New York-headquartered company has been considering opening a London office for a while and was not put off by last year’s Brexit vote, which has put Britain on course to leave the EU in 2019. In fact, Brexit could boost business, he said.

Galit said: “The UK is clearly one of the leading global trading hubs in the world… Out of whatever disruption may come, we also think there will be opportunity.”

He added that “the UK is filled with entrepreneurs running businesses of a wide range of sizes that will have great opportunities,” and said: “There actually are tremendous opportunities to make your mark globally.”

The company is already seeing increased interest from UK businesses looking to trade internationally outside of the EU, in the wake of last year’s vote.

“Now is a time when small businesses that have been looking more inwardly or looking just across the border into Europe are actually in a position now where they need to start thinking globally,” Galit said.

The rise of online international marketplaces such as Amazon and Lazada are making trade with the likes of China and the US easier for small and medium-sized businesses, he added.

Payoneer has two main parts to its business: helping small and medium-sized businesses make overseas payments online; and helping global tech giants like Amazon, Airbnb, and Google, to pay suppliers around the world.

Founded in 2005, the company already has British customers but Galit said the London office is “by far the most significant investment we’ve made.” Six staff will man the office to begin with but there is no upper cap on the number of people who could be hired out of London.

The opening of a UK office comes after Payoneer raised $180 million in growth funding last October. Galit said the new office was part of “a very logical and systematic effort to make sure we have a meaningful presence in every trading hub around the world.”

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