Every September The Sunday Times (London) publishes the Tech Track 100, its compilation of the fastest-growing private tech companies in the UK.  Last year, I wrote about the number of B2B payments and financing companies on the list.  This year, at least one additional B2B payments company made the list for the first time, Centtrip.

Centtrip:  International Payments and Expenses

Here’s the sentence from the description of Centtrip that made me want to learn more.

Centtrip supports more than 500 of the biggest global music acts, including Coldplay, Adele and Robbie Williams, and half of the world’s superyacht fleet. (Italics are mine.)

For a guy that loves niche B2B payments companies, how could I let that lede pass me by?

As Centtrip states on its website, there’s a commonality between Adele’s needs and those of superyacht owners:

Why those glamorously different sectors? Because they share unique needs; as do filmmakers, private aviation firms and other organisations that manage multiple, internationally mobile teams.

They operate in dynamic, fast-moving, environments where change happens on the move; where opportunities present themselves for just moments and where obstacles need managed, right now. They operate where the world can’t wait for a phone call; where tomorrow you’ll now be in Canada, not Mexico, in Cannes instead of Cairo.

If that’s your world, you need more than multi-currency deposits, foreign exchange, payments and cards — we do all that.

Yep, Centtrip offers a single account to manage 15 currencies, issues high-limit prepaid Mastercard virtual cards, has an app for receipt scanning, offers foreign exchange conversion, and consulting, and, I bet, high-touch services.  Here’s a use case that only a few of us can relate to exactly:

 

Okay, the example is a bit out there, but you get the point, highly mobile, global, expense-on-the-spot businesses have unique needs.  Centtrip is expanding beyond music acts and yachts into film and television production, other arts, private aviation, and what they call “enterprise”.  In these latter areas, especially in the US, they will run into sturdy competition.

Pre-Covid Centtrip Financials

For the year ended, September 2019 (very much pre-Covid), Centtrip reached just over £5 million in revenue on exchanged currency volumes of £808 million. This implies a take rate of about 60 bps.

Almost all revenue is derived from “the provision of currency payments and card services including annual card fees, license fees, and load fees.”  Less than 5% of Centtrip’s revenues came from SaaS fees, but these were up from zero in the year prior.  Both revenue and currency volumes grew nearly 40% over the prior year.

Centtrip kept its gross margin around 62% across both years and its administrative costs completely flat on a dollar basis over both years. In fiscal 2019, its operating loss was just under £3 million.  If Centtrip can grow a couple more years at 40% and maintain its administrative expenses, it would reach breakeven.  (I know, those are big “ifs”.)

Post-Covid Financials

Unfortunately, we will not know Centtrip’s Post-Covid financials for another year.  I’d expect Covid to have had a pretty severe impact on much of the business.  Obviously, musical acts, film and television production, and the arts have been decimated.  Superyacht sales are up, but no one wants them in port anywhere!  Private aviation is also apparently up a bit.  Ah, the trials of serving the rich and famous!

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