Fast Company of the Month

September 2016: Coindrum

By Business & Finance
18 October 2016
coindrum brussels launch
Irish Ambassador to Belgium Eamonn Mac Aodha and Lukas Decker of Coindrum

Coindrum is poised to double its footprint and turnover after a third round of funding.

Coindrum provides self service machines, placed in departures areas in international airports, that passengers use to convert unwanted coins into airport shopping vouchers. This solves the foreign coin inconvenience for travellers, increases the percentage of people that shop for retailers, and speeds up security checks for airports.

The man behind the company is Irish-based entrepreneur Lukas Decker, founder and CEO, who started the company in 2012 during his master’s at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.

The travel tech solution offers value beyond solving a passenger inconvenience, as it has an impressive track record of making non-spenders spend. The consumer receives a voucher worth 10% more than the amount deposited in the drum.

The relatively low-value vouchers trigger people to spend a multiple of their worth at the tills, and Coindrum’s metrics have proven to retailers how they can improve their business. The retailer then pays Coindrum a commission based on sales.


According to Jack McGowan, CEO of Aer Rianta International, “Coindrum is a great Irish innovation and the service is very much in line with the extra value we are looking to offer our passengers, as well as helping us to further optimise our retail operation.”

The serviced launched in Dublin Airport in December 2014, followed by Milan with Dufry, the Swiss-owned travel retailer, then Portugal and Cyprus. The strategy has been to forge relationships with the big travel retail companies rather than targeting all individual airport authorities. There are just 10 companies with over 60% of global market share in travel retail.

Coindrum is a great Irish innovation and the service is very much in line with the extra value we are looking to offer our passengers

Scaling alongside their international travel partners, they recently cut the ribbon to launch Coindrum at International Duty Free (IDF) in Brussels International Airport. With nearly 23.5 million passengers in 2015, it is one of the largest airports in Europe and the main airport in Belgium, connecting the capital of Europe to 226 destinations around the globe.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony in Brussels was attended by IDF CEO Nicolas Van Brandt, who commented: “At IDF we place customers at the centre of everything we do, which is why we have now added Coindrum as an additional service.” The Ambassador of Ireland to Belgium, Eamonn Mac Aodha, was also in attendance. “We are pleased to show our support for one of Ireland’s leading young travel tech companies at their launch in Europe’s capital, said Mac Aodha.” Ireland and Belgium are constantly working together to develop and strengthen their relationship. With Coindrum’s installation we now include an innovative start-up into the equation.”


“We have three funding rounds behind us with Declan Ryan of Ryanair being the founding investor, also following his money in the consecutive rounds,” reveals Decker. “The latest round early this year was USD$2m from travel tech veterans such as Bobby Healy of CarTrawler, Tom Kennedy of Hostelworld, Declan Ryan, Patrick Joy of Suretank, investor and entrepreneur Nicole Junkermann and quite a few more.

With sufficient financial muscle to execute on the current growth trajectory, the next plan is to double in size both in footprint and turnover. With a pipeline of additional European hub locations signed, the company is expanding to support its seventh international airport partnership.

Decker shows no signs of slowing down. “Coindrum is about to achieve critical mass where passengers are expecting to use the service when they travel. We receive countless inquiries from passengers on where they can find our units in airports, a great sign that we have a lot more work to do.”

The next launch in another major European airport is set to be announced very soon. 

Business & Finance, Fast Company of the Month

eir fast company buttonWith a spotlight on innovation, international scalability, differentiation and strategic investment to the Irish economy, Business & Finance – in association with eir – recognises the growth and ingenuity of the fastest growing businesses across Ireland.