Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann: TransferWise
Offering money transfer at a fraction of the price
Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, 30 and 31
Company: Transferwise Ltd
‘The Skype of currency exchange’ is how TransferWise Ltd describes itself; and considering co-founder Hinrikus was Skype’s first employee, it’s a fairly apt synopsis. The service allows consumers to send money between UK and European accounts for a fraction of the price banks charge, by using a peer-to-peer crowdsourced model to get the best rate on the exchange.
The founders launched in 2010, after becoming fed up with being charged a substantial amount of money when sending money back and forth to their home country of Estonia. Taking on the banks has so far paid off, with the company’s exchange volume reaching £10m in its first year. Investors include VC firms, as well as the founders of PayPal and Wonga.