Azimo has received £17 million backing in a venture debt deal with the European Investment Bank.

The digital money transfer service said the money will accelerate the company’s R&D and scale up its automated payments platform.

The financing is supported by the European Fund for Strategic Investments, the financial pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.

Despite being headquartered in London, some 130 of Azimo’s 160 total staff are based in Kraków, Poland.

The EIB financing will enable the company to grow its technical team there more rapidly.

“Working in one place but putting your money to work in another is a common feature of our time,” said Lilyana Pavlova, Vice-President of the EIB in charge of operations in Poland.

“Yet far too many people don’t have bank accounts or other means to send and receive money.

“Companies like Azimo make money transfer easy, safe and affordable. They are a game changer – not only for the market, but first and foremost for the people who, thanks to them, save money and time.”

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Commenting on the investment round, Michael Kent, founder and Chairman of Azimo said: “While Europe is the largest international payments market in the world, it is poorly served by legacy providers, so slow delivery times and very high costs are the norm for European consumers and businesses.

“At Azimo we are building a European payments champion with near-instant delivery at super low cost. We are excited to have the European Investment Bank’s support in our mission to be the better way to share money around the world, improving millions of lives.”

Valdis Dombrovskis, European Commission Vice-President for an Economy that Works for People, said: “People need to be able to transfer money as quickly and safely as possible.

“This is a priority of the Commission and we will continue to support successful companies such as Azimo to boost the European FinTech sector and improve the experience of millions of customers.”