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#4 Kantox x BNP Paribas: how to secure foreign exchange risk for businesses?

In this fourth episode of our "Let’s innovate" series: a meeting with Philippe Gellis, co-founder and CEO of Kantox, specialists in Currency Management Automation. 100% owned by BNP Paribas since July 2023, the company was created by three partners. Their mantra? Turn risk into opportunity.

Kantox is a FinTech specialising in Currency Management Automation. What does this mean?

Philippe Gelis: Most companies work with customers and/or suppliers outside their home country, and have to invoice or receive payment in several currencies. As a result, they are confronted with foreign exchange management. We offer a platform that enables them to hedge the risks associated with highly volatile exchange rates in a fully automated way. In fact, this is what we call Currency Management Automation. Many banks already sell currency hedging. Our added value is the unique software that automates the process from A to Z. There are some very big players in this sector in software, and some big players in trading, but we're the only ones to combine software and trading. 

Could you give us a concrete example ?

P.G.: Our first customer was an SME specialising in travel arrangements. When this tour operator sells a holiday in Vietnam to French customers, the latter pay for their hotel in euros, but the hotel prefers to be paid in the local currency: the dong. The tour operator assumes a currency exchange risk, since the hotel will only invoice them once the tourists have returned. During this time, the exchange rate will change up to several times a second! By connecting our software to the tour operator's information systems, when the customer buys their trip online, Kantox receives in real time the amount of the hotel invoice, which will be payable in six months' time. The software buys a currency hedge automatically, and can repeat this operation thousands of times a day. In high-volume sectors with very slim margins, managing currency risk is strategic.


Volume exchanged on the platform

What inspired you to create this software solution?

P.G.: We created Kantox in 2011. I met my co-founders – Toni Rami, now Chief Growth Officer at Kantox - when I was still at Deloitte, and– John Carbajal, now Chief Technology Officer - at a start-up event. Initially, we wanted to offer a simple digital platform for manual foreign exchange transactions. You have to remember that 10 years ago, most of these operations were carried out by telephone! Prices were not transparent and there was no automation.

Over time, we realised that there was a need for automation in companies with a high volume of daily transactions. We developed the software to do just that. In fact, it's the needs and problems encountered by customers that create improvement and therefore innovation. 

Why the name Kantox? It's a name that was invented and redesigned ! Kantox comes from the name of a German mathematician called Georg Ferdinand Ludwig Philippe Cantor. We added a K to energise the name, and an X to refer to the X in Fx, short for foreign exchange. 

How did your collaboration with the Corporate and Institutional Banking (CIB) teams at BNP Paribas come about?

P.G.: As soon as we started developing the automation part of our software, several banks came to us because their customers were using our solution. A BNP Paribas Cash Management team in Belgium approached us at an event. We signed a partnership with the Group in 2019 to sell our product to their customers, and at the same time, the Bank acquired a stake in our capital. Gradually, BNP Paribas bought out the Kantox shares held by investment funds. As a result, we have been 100% BNP Paribas-owned since July 2023.

Learn more about CIB

What have you gained from this merger?

P.G.: The difficulty in creating a new product is getting the word out about it. BNP Paribas opened up its large portfolio of customers to us. And we bring them innovation. Together, we combined the power of the network with a product that was unique on the market. We also succeeded in marrying two different cultures: banking and start-up. Today, BNP Paribas supports us in selling our solution to their customers, but allows us to manage operations, because selling software is quite different from selling financial products. Our next ambition? Growth of course! When there's growth, everything's goes. When there isn't any, nothing goes!

“We identified the tremendous value Kantox could bring to our corporate client base. Instead of developing our own solution, which would have taken years, we decided to first invest in, and later fully acquire, Kantox so we could offer their platform to all of our corporate clients, across both our Global Markets franchise and the business centres of the Commercial, Personal and Banking Services (CPBS) division. The acquisition has allowed both sides to successfully accelerate the use and development of the platform.”

Jacques Levet

Chief Digital Officer, BNP Paribas Global Markets


  • Founded in 2011, Kantox is the first company to offer Currency Management Automation software.

  • The company was co-founded by three partners: Philippe Gelis, Chief Executive Officer; Toni Rami, Chief Growth Officer and John Carbajal, Chief Technology Officer.  
  • Office locations include London and Barcelona.

Some key figures: 

  • Customers use the platform from 74 countries
  • 124 currencies are exchanged
  • Nearly 200 employees have joined Kantox
Learn more about Kantox

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