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Email from Libeo to UK customers

Libeo UK to close on 1 June


Just over a year after launching in the UK, French payments firm Libeo has announced it is pulling out of its cross-channel expansion, citing market conditions.

12th Apr 2023
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Libeo has emailed its UK customers to announce it is closing UK operations and shuttering its Xero links from 1 June – with the Xero integration URL already inactive on the vendor’s website.

“It’s with a heavy heart that we’re informing you that Libeo UK will be closing,” read the email to customers. “With the current market context we’ve made the decision to focus on our home market of France, where we have an established business. It has become clear that with the market conditions, we won’t be able to develop the product at the pace we’d want and thus wouldn’t be able to give you the Libeo experience you deserve.”

Libeo will be available for use until 1 June 2023, at which point users will no longer be able to make payments or sync with Xero. The email stated that the company has stopped billing its UK customers, and use of the tool will be free of charge until 1 June. Libeo will also be asking users for details on how to transfer any remaining funds from their Libeo Wallet back to their chosen bank account.

“We want to take this moment to say a big thank you. We’re aware you took a chance on a startup and planned on working with us long-term, for that, we’re sorry we won’t get to do that,” continued the email, “We understand that changing product is not desirable.”

The email listed a number of alternative providers in the payments space, including Comma, Telleroo and Nook.

Payments boom levels off

The news comes two weeks after the departure of former Xero sales director Glen Foster as Libeo’s UK managing director was announced, and also follows a reshuffle at the very top of the company, with co-founder Pierre Dutaret moving aside as CEO, with former chief technology officer Pierre-Antoine Glandier taking over at the top.

Libeo came to the UK in 2022 on a wave of enthusiasm for payments software, offering a simplified way to centralise invoices via its platform, pay suppliers and collect payments.

However, with the wider technology market in a state of flux and the payments boom in accounting tech seemingly levelling off, it appears Libeo’s expansion has not gone to plan and the French firm has decided to cut its losses. The move follows fellow payments provider Comma’s decision to sell to embedded finance provider Weavr.

OCR competitor

“I think the challenge for Libeo was they were often seen as a competitor to OCR [optical character recognition] products such as Dext or AutoEntry that are already entrenched in the UK,” commented John Toon, tech advisory lead at accounting firm Beever and Struthers.

“It’s a big challenge to get firms and businesses to adopt new tools when there’s so much crossover between them and the products they already use. Although payments are a growing area, it still isn’t a huge market in the UK for accountants to offer.

“You also have the challenge around the maturity of Open Banking bulk payments compared to the wallet solutions. Plus, to make money you need significant volumes (in the millions of transactions) if you aren’t charging a fee.”

Replies (2)

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By Dr Fauci
13th Apr 2023 11:15

It's a shame when firms pushing OCR products can't see the obvious.

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By Ralph Rogge
14th Apr 2023 09:08

Fintech is difficult to scale internationally with local regulatory restrictions, but I like Libeo, Pierre-Antoine and the team there. In the meantime Crezco is a good alternative and works for accounts payable and receivable, domestic and international.

For context, I do work at Crezco but it is worth having a demo and we are not slowly down but moving faster.

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