TransferWise makes US play; WorldRemit lands $100 million funding round

TransferWise makes US play; WorldRemit lands $100 million funding round

London-based money transfer startup TransferWise is hoping to conquer America after adding the US dollar to its list of currencies.

Customers can now send and receive US dollars on the Transferwise platform, exchanging the currency with dozens of others in the firm's network. With Brazil, the Philippines, Canada, Malaysia and Nigeria also added, there are now more than 300 currency routes on offer.

Transferwise has long had its eye on the US market, recently opening New York offices and securing a $58 million funding round led by Silicon Valley big hitter Andreessen Horowitz, helping to push it towards the $1 billion valuation mark.

The fast-growing company claims to have handled more than £3 billion in foreign currency transfers on behalf of users, saving them some $135 million by side-stepping bank fees by performing peer-to-peer currency exchanges at the mid-market rate.

Another London-based company aiming to over-turn the traditional money transfer market, WorldRemit has announced that it has raised $100m in a Series B funding round led by Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), with participation from existing investor Accel Partners. The company says the investment will allow it to extend its existing reach of 50 send countries and 117 receive countries, and expand partnerships with mobile money wallets operated by telecoms companies in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

WorldRemit founder and CEO, Ismail Ahmed says: “We have an amazing opportunity to shake-up a stale industry and to save our customers time and money. We are taking money transfers into the mobile age, where people send from apps and receive on mobile money services.”

The TCV-led Series B round comes less than 12 months after Accel Partners invested $40m in WorldRemit, one of the largest ever Series A rounds in Europe.

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