TransferWise

A British online money transfer service

TransferWise is a London-based online money transfer service founded in January 2011 by Estonians Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus.[1][2][3]

Contents

  • 1 History
  • 2 Funding
  • 3 Criticism
  • 4 See also
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links

History[edit]

TransferWise was founded in 2011 by Taavet Hinrikus, Skype’s first employee,[4] and financial consultant Kristo Käärmann.

TransferWise’s system has been compared to the hawala money transfer system.[5][6][7][8]

Regular money transfer versus peer-to-peer money transfer

In its first year of operation, transactions through TransferWise amounted to €10 million.[9]

In 2012, TransferWise was named as one of “East London’s 20 hottest tech startups” by The Guardian, Start Up of the Week by Wired UK, one of five “start-ups to watch” at Seedcamp’s 2012 US Demo Day by TechCrunch, and made it to Startups.co.uk’s list of the top 100 UK start-ups of 2012.[10] [11][12][13]

In April 2013, TransferWise stopped letting users purchase Bitcoin, citing pressure from banking providers.[14]

Independent comparison site Monito revealed that TransferWise was on average 83% cheaper than the big four UK banks on major currency “routes”, but could be up to 90% cheaper in certain specific cases.[15]

In May 2015, TransferWise was ranked No. 8 on CNBC’s 2015 Disruptor 50 list,[16] and in August 2015, the company was named a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer.[17]

On 8 April 2017, an internal memo from British bank Santander claimed the bank would lose 84% of its revenue from its money transfer business if its charges were the same as TransferWise.[18]

On 12 April 2017, TransferWise announced its decision to move its European headquarters from London to the European continent due to Brexit.[19] However, in 2019, the company announced opening an office in Brussels, with the headquarters remaining in London.[20]

Also in April 2017, the company announced the opening of its APAC hub in Singapore.[21]

In May 2017, the company announced its customers were sending over £1 billion every month using the service,[22] and that the company turned profitable six years after being founded.[23]

On 21 January 2021, Sky News reported that TransferWise had appointed Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as joint global co-ordinators for its planned initial public offering.[24]

Funding[edit]

TransferWise received seed funding amounting to $1.3 million from a consortium including venture firms IA Ventures and Index Ventures, IJNR Ventures, NYPPE as well as individual investors such as PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, former Betfair CEO David Yu, and Wonga.com co-founder Errol Damelin.[25]

TransferWise also received investment after being named one of Seedcamp 2011’s winners.[26]

In May 2013, it was announced that TransferWise had secured a $6 million investment round led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures.[27]

TransferWise raised a further $25 million in June 2014, adding Richard Branson as an investor.[28]

In January 2015, it was announced that TransferWise had raised a $58 million Series C round, led by investors Andreessen Horowitz.[29]

In May 2016, TransferWise secured a funding of $26 million. This raised the company’s valuation to $1.1 billion. As of May 2016, TransferWise has raised a total of $117 million in funding.[30]

In November 2017, the company raised a $280 million Series E led by Old Mutual Global Investors and IVP, as well as Sapphire Ventures, Japanese Mitsui & Co, and World Innovation Lab.[31]

In May 2019, the company had the secondary investment round of $292 million and reached the total valuation of $3.5 billion, more than double the valuation TransferWise achieved in late 2017 at the time of its $280 million Series E round.[32]

Criticism[edit]

In May 2016, TransferWise’s claim “you save up to 90% against banks” was considered as misleading by the Advertising Standards Authority.[33]

In June 2020, after experts raised ethical and privacy concerns around the digital COVID-19 immunity passports TransferWise was helping develop, the company conceded immunity passports aren’t a “perfect solution” and co-founder Hinrikus said they won’t be launched publicly until there’s scientific consensus on Covid-19 immunity.[34]

See also[edit]

  • CurrencyFair
  • Financial technology
  • Xoom Corporation
  • WorldRemit
  • Midpoint (company)
  • TransferMate

References[edit]

  • ^ a b c d .mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:”””””””‘””‘”}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Lock-green.svg”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg”)right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url(“//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg”)right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit}Bryant, Martin. “Money may make the world go round, but at what cost?”. BBC. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  • ^ a b c d “TransferWise Steps Toward Banking With Multicurrency Account”. Bloomberg.com. 23 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  • ^ a b c d Bryant, Martin. “TransferWise valued at bn by top Silicon Valley venture capital fund”. The Independent. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
  • ^ Temperton, James (3 November 2016). “Has Skype lost its way? Taavet Hinrikus reveals what the company taught him”. Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  • ^ Price, Rob (27 January 2015). “London’s $1 Billion Finance Startup TransferWise Is Just Like An Ancient Islamic Money Transfer System”. Business Insider. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  • ^ Marco della Cava (18 August 2014). “London’s TransferWise aims to disrupt banking”. USA Today. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  • ^ Bennett Voyles (9 September 2015). “Online money transfers and the “Skype” of money”. Forbes India. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  • ^ Leander Bindewald (8 July 2015). “You need never use a bank again. Here’s why”. The Guardian. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  • ^ Bryant, Martin. “Peer-to-peer currency exchange service Transferwise handles $13.4m in its first year”. Insider. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  • ^ Silver, James (8 July 2012). “East London’s 20 hottest tech startups”. The Guardian.
  • ^ “Startup of the Week: TransferWise”. Wired. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  • ^ “The 2012 Startups 100: revealed”. Startups. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  • ^ Taylor, Colleen. “5 Startups to Watch from Seedcamp’s 2012 US Demo Day”. TechCrunch. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  • ^ “Bitcoin | TransferWise Support & FAQ – International Money Transfer”. transferwise.com. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  • ^ “TransferWise – Are they that cheap or is it just (inaccurate) advertising?”. www.monito.com. Monito. 26 May 2016. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  • ^ “Meet the 2015 CNBC Disruptor 50 companies”. CNBC. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  • ^ Barber, Lynsey (5 August 2015). “Four UK firms named tech pioneers by WEF”. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  • ^ Collinson, Patrick (8 April 2017). “Revealed: the huge profits earned by big banks on overseas money transfers”. The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  • ^ Kelly, Jemima (12 April 2017). Brexit prompts Transferwise to move Europe headquarter from UK to continent. Reuters. Retrieved 30 April 2017
  • ^ Megaw, Nicholas (10 January 2019). “Brexit drives TransferWise to open Belgian office”. www.ft.com. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  • ^ Russell, Jon. “TransferWise moves into Asia Pacific with opening of regional HQ in Singapore | TechCrunch”. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  • ^ CNBC.com, Neil Ainger, Writer at (17 May 2017). “Fintech unicorn Transferwise achieves first profit”. CNBC. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  • ^ “TransferWise becomes profitable six years after being founded”. BBC News. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
  • ^ Kleinman, Mark (21 January 2021). “TransferWise picks banks to spearhead blockbuster flotation”. Sky News. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  • ^ Johnson, Bobbie. “Transferwise unveils Levchin, other superstar backers”. Gigaoam. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  • ^ “TransferWise”. Seedcamp. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
  • ^ O’Hear, Steve. “P2P Currency Exchange TransferWise Raises $6M Led By Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, With Participation From SV Angel, Others”. TechCrunch. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  • ^ O’Hear, Steve. “Now Backed By Sir Richard Branson, TransferWise Raises $25M For Cheaper Money Transfers”. TechCrunch. Retrieved 9 June 2014.
  • ^ Price, Rob. “London Cash Startup TransferWise Is Now Worth $1 Billion”. BusinessInsider. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  • ^ O’Hear, Steve. “Money transfer company TransferWise raises further $26M at $1.1B valuation”. TechCrunch. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  • ^ “TransferWise Announces $280M Investment Round as Company Focuses on New Products and APAC Expansion”. IVP. 2 November 2017.
  • ^ “TransferWise now valued at $3.5B following a new $292M secondary round”. TechCrunch. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  • ^ “ASA Ruling on TransferWise Ltd”. 4 May 2016. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  • ^ Browne, Ryan (3 June 2020). “Start-ups are racing to develop Covid-19 ‘immunity passports’ — but experts warn they’re unethical”. CNBC. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  • External links[edit]

    • Official website


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