Just weeks after landing a $58 million funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz, TransferWise founders Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann today led a naked protest through the heart of New York's financial district.
The spectacle, organised by the co-founders of the London-based money transfer startup, was designed to showcase the company's arrival in the USA and demonstrate its mission to disrupt some of banking's least transparent practices.
Unwavered by one of the coldest winters on record in the Big Apple, over 200 demonstrators stripped down to just their underwear at lunchtime and marched through Wall Street. The protest was staged against the murky practices of financiers that impact billions of people the world over, including fees hidden on international money transfers.
At nothing2hide.nyc, TransferWise has compiled a series of photos and videos from the stunt and provided more information about how banks hide money transfer fees within an artificially inflated exchange rate.
TransferWise is no stranger to mixing nudity and money transfers, albeit in more hospitable temperatures – the company's proudly Estonian co-founders installed a sauna in their office in London.
Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of TransferWise, said: "We wanted to show America that we're here to disrupt a banking system that isn't offering transparent or fair services a lot of the time, and that we're willing to get naked if that helps inform people about the issue! In the age of the sharing economy and game-changing services like Uber and AirBnb no industry should feel safe from disruption, least of all financial services. People shouldn't get ripped off, they deserve low fees, clear pricing and a fair deal."
TransferWise has attracted $91M from some of the world's leading investors. Most recently, this includes Andreessen Horowitz, Sir Richard Branson and Peter Thiel.