January 27 ,2015 | by Claire Payne

London fintech startup Transferwise valued at close to $1 billion

London fintech startup Transferwise, founded in 2011 by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, raised around $58 million of funding pushing its value close to $1 billion.

In a new round of funding, the London startup has managed to secure around $58 million which values the company close to the $1 billion. Transferwise is a fast-growing peer to peer money transfer startup, which is rumoured to be in talks with Facebook for remittance services.

The firm was founded in 2011 by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, with the aim to make it cheaper and easier to transfer pounds to euros. Having been built by ex-Skype and PayPal engineers, it looked like the founders had the perfect backgrounds for this to take-off.

 

Prominent backers invest over $58 million

It’s this pedigree, combined with speculation of potential business with Facebook, which has seen Transferwise raise $58 million from in this Series C round of funding. It was headed up by prominent investor Andreessen Horowitz, while involving previous backers such as Sir Richard Branson and Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, amongst others.

“Andreessen Horowitz’s interest in TransferWise shows how ripe financial services are for disruption,” said the co-founder and CEO, Taavet Hinrikus.

“For too long legacy providers’ dominance of the market has allowed consumers to be hoodwinked into paying huge hidden charges for services as basic as currency exchange,” he added.

 

Funds will be used to expand offices and services

The funding will be used to open up a US office headed by Ben Horowitz, followed by outposts in Germany and Austria. Other plans for the funding include opening up the money transfer service to 300 more currency routes over the next year, adding to the 292 routes currently operated.

“We are thrilled to be backing Taavet and Kristo. They discovered an important secret and are are uniquely prepared to pursue it,” Ben Horowitz said in a statement on the investment.

“Not only is their solution 10 times better than the old way of exchanging foreign currency, but it could not have come at a better time. Since there has been little to no innovation from the traditional banking sector, we see massive opportunity for new financial institutions like TransferWise,” he continued.

 

 

Top image: TechCrunch

Claire Payne

Claire Payne is a journalism graduate and News Writer for LSBF. She writes about SMEs, education and careers, entrepreneurship, women in business, and sustainability.

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