Last updated September 3rd 2015
Meet CEO Daniel Abrahams, 27, originally from London. Daniel runs the Israel office of CurrencyTransfer.com, the world’s first online marketplace matching individuals and businesses with the most competitive international payment quotes. Think Expedia for currency exchange. Whether you are making aliyah or thinking about buying property in Israel, the CurrencyTransfer.com team can help you save up to 85% versus the bank on making and receiving international payments.
Founders Daniel Abrahams and Stevan Litobac
Why did you start the business?
The business was borne out of personal pain and frustration when making international payments. I was on an exchange program at the University of Sydney and needed to send money frequently between the UK and Australia. Most banks and currency suppliers boast of ‘we offer 0% commission.’ However, hidden fees, profit built into the exchange rate cost me thousands of pounds over the course of the year.
Foreign exchange is actually one of the last areas of personal and business finance where the end customer truly doesn’t know what they’re paying! This sucks for Olim, and it’s all about to change. We set up CurrencyTransfer.com to be 100% price transparent and offer customers choice, putting power back in your hands to decide who you make a money transfer with, and at what time. All at the click of a button. We say goodbye to expensive banks and opaque currency brokers!
How’s it going?
It’s been a whirlwind 6 months. We launched live on CNBC, followed by a live demo at Finovate, the world’s largest financial technology show. Since won a string of awards both in UK and Israel. We were recently voted Wired magazine startup of the week and reached the final of the prestigious SWIFT Innotribe competition in Boston.
To celebrate our arrival in ‘The Startup Nation’ we brainstormed ways of giving back to a welcoming community who have given so much to us. So, we recently launched a meetup group for tech entrepreneurs and employees in Finance. All readers are cordially invited to the next one if you are in the industry, or thinking about getting in to the world of startups.
What is so special about the startup nation?
The wealth of talent is frightening. The book ‘The Startup Nation’ really spells out the magic better than I can ever do in a single paragraph. So here are a short collection of words and thoughts, based on first hand experience: a country of risk takers, solving deep problems, an ecosystem that rivals the Silicon Valley, zero fear of failure, a mature mindset and taking battleground experience into startup life.
How do Jewish grandparents in the UK and Israel compare?
If you’re a grandparent in the UK, you’re SO proud of your son the lawyer, banker or accountant. Being a tech entrepreneur is a little too risqué. In Israel, with exits and IPO’s coming out on the news every other day, grandparents are proud and encourage their family to become the next best tech entrepreneur. What a wonderful entrepreneurial and can-do mentality.
Tel Aviv or London?
You can’t really beat the weather, the chutzpah, the food and the general outdoor lifestyle. As a young professional, it’s a dream living in such a vibrant city that never sleeps. That being said I do miss my immediate family and love for West Ham United. For the first time, the Hammers are actually doing very well!
Give one piece of advice to an Ole Hadash looking for a job at a startup in Israel?
Almost every day, there is a different event for startups. Never stop networking. Add context far and beyond a CV by meeting you’re your prospective employer and building rapport before they’ve even had a chance to read your personal statement. Look for meetups and events relevant to the industry you are in, and hustle your way to a dream job. Be active on twitter and blogs in your niche. Just by attending these wonderful events and contributing to the community, you will not only learn, but also show your future boss your curiosity and passion for entrepreneurship.
How do I get started on CurrencyTransfer.com?
Simply log onto our website, http://www.currencytransfer.com and click get started. You can set up a user dashboard in no time (less than 20 seconds), and once you’ve completed a short compliance form, you’ll be ready to make international money transfers at your leisure, 24 / 5.
Finally, your favourite #onlyinisrael moments
#onlyinisrael does you taxi driver break down on the highway with a puncture & fancies a sleep so asks me (the customer) to make calls to sort the issue out.
#onlyinisrael do you go to your local makolet and find the shopkeeper chilling on a chair in the middle of the store doing a workout with weights.
Thanks a lot to Daniel Abrahams! You can see Daniel Abrahams and Aviva Tabachnik from CurrencyTransfer.com in person at this year’s Secret Tel Aviv Olim Expo on 27th and 28th of November 2014 at the Dizengoff Centre.