Digital remittance outfit Remitly has raised $85 million at a $1.5 billion valuation in a funding round led by existing investor Prosus’s PayU.
Generation Investment Management, Owl Rock Capital, Stripes, DN Capital, Top Tier, Princeville Global, and Threshold Ventures joined the round, the proceeds of which will be used to expand Remitly's suite of digital services.
Remitly has established itself as a rival to old-school providers such as MoneyGram and Western Union in the multi-billion dollar global remittance market.
The firm's proprietary global money transfer network is used to move over $6 billion in annualised volume from people in the west to friends and relatives in Africa, Asia, Central Europe and South America.
And, while the World Bank forecast global remittances to decline by 20% in 2020 due to Covid-19 and the consequent economic crisis, Remitly has seen 200% new customer growth year-over-year.
The company is also moving into new areas: in February it announced plans to launch a banking service, called Passbook, aimed at the 44 million first generation adult immigrants in the US.
Matt Oppenheimer, CEO, Remitly, says: "Remitly was born out of this necessity - to provide the underserved, underbanked and overlooked access to financial services anytime, anywhere. And our digital solutions have never been needed more than they are today."