TransferWise secures $58m Series C round led by Andreessen Horowitz
London start-up looks to disrupt traditional foreign exchange industry and has global expansion on horizon
Bank fee beating tech start-up TransferWise has received an impressive $58m investment from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz – along with existing investors Sir Richard Branson, Valar Ventures, Index Ventures, IA Ventures and Seedcamp.
Launched in 2011 by Estonian Young Guns Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, TranferWise says it cuts the costs of international money transfers by removing the hidden fees that are traditionally imposed by the foreign exchange industry.
With such market potential the company has grown rapidly; it claims to have saved its customers more than £135m from £3bn worth of transfers over 292 currency routes, and has a team of 250 staff.
The finance will be used to fulfill the company’s ambitious global expansion plans; opening offices in Germany, Australia and the US in the next few months and a further 300 currency routes over the next year.
TransferWise co-founder Hinrikus said: “Andreessen Horowitz’s interest in TransferWise shows how ripe financial services are for disruption. 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.”
Ben Horowitz, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, commented: “We are thrilled to be backing Taavet and Kristo. They discovered an important secret and are uniquely prepared to pursue it.
“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.”