Andreessen Horowitz, the investment firm which rose to prominence thanks to big bets on Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, and Pinterest among other, has led a $58 million funding round in UK money transfer startup TransferWise.
The funding is a massive shot in the arm for TransferWise, which was sniffing a $1 billion valuation on the back of reports last November that it was in talks with Sequoia Capital on a $50 million financing round.
The fast-growing company has handled more than £1 billion in foreign currency transfers on behalf of users, who side-step bank fees by performing peer-to-peer currency exchanges at the mid-market rate.
TransferWise says it will use the new funding to add a further 300 currency routes to the 292 routes already opened.
"We have customers in more than 50 countries," says the company in a statement. "There are many more to reach."
The investment also includes backing from existing TransferWise backers Sir Richard Branson, Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Index Ventures, IA Ventures, and Seedcamp. As part of the round, serial innovator and a16z founder Ben Horowitz will join the TransferWise board of directors, his first ever board seat in Europe.
“Not only is their [transferWise} solution 10 times better than the old way of exchanging foreign currency, it could not have come at a better time," says Horowitz. "We see massive opportunity for new financial institutions like TransferWise.”
Howitz says an earlier decision three years ago to pass on the opportunity to invest in TransferWise at the business' inception was "an investment decision that I have regretted ever since".