Today Remitly, the largest independent mobile remittance company in the United States, announced it received $38 million in new equity and debt financing from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Silicon Valley Bank, the bank of the world’s most innovative companies and their investors.
The financing will help the company expand its ability to deliver international fund transfers quickly, efficiently, and at a low cost to consumers.
“Remitly is driving important innovation in the peer to peer global payments arena,” said Minh Le, Market Manager for Silicon Valley Bank’s Washington and Western Canada region. “It is our pleasure to play a part in supporting Remitly’s growth during this exciting time of expansion.”
Concurrently, Remitly also announced its expansion into seven countries throughout Central and South America, where international remittances greatly contribute to the regional economy.
As the global economy becomes more connected, migrants around the world are looking for new ways to transfer money to their loved ones - a flow of funds that topped $600 billion last year. Historically, the remittance process has been slow, expensive, and lacked transparency - leaving customers in the dark not knowing when their recipient will receive the money. Remitly’s proprietary global transfer network, enabled by its industry-leading mobile app, makes sending money faster, easier, more transparent, and less costly.
IFC investment supports Remitly’s objective of expanding low-cost remittance services around the world
“Today’s announcement adds to the momentum around Remitly’s expanding global mission,” said Matt Oppenheimer, CEO of Remitly. “We are especially pleased to be backed by IFC and the World Bank Group who for many years have actively worked towards trust and transparency around global remittances - the two core values at the heart of our business.”
“Remitly’s mission is perfectly aligned with IFC’s long-standing objective of helping the private sector find solutions that benefit the world’s poor,” said Kai Schmitz, who leads IFC’s Fintech investments in Latin America. “Transfers by migrants to their home countries is a proven way to improve the lives of families and support emerging market economies. The World Bank is actively working with the G20 and other partners to increase choice for senders and lower the cost of remittances. Remitly is a great example how technology can be used to achieve these objectives.”
Success in Mexico set the stage for expansion into Central and South America
Remitly’s entry into Mexico last year makes further Latin American expansion a natural next step. Latin Americans living in the United States are responsible for sending over $17 billion in annual remittance volume to the seven countries Remitly is expanding into, and those on the receiving end boast the largest smartphone consumption rate of any other demographic group.
The seven new countries that Remitly now serves are Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua in Central America, along with Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru in South America. For those receiving a Remitly money transfer, the company has built a network of more than 8,000 partners including major banks and popular retailers in the region that can facilitate cash pickup and direct deposits into bank accounts. Remitly also has a dedicated customer service center in Nicaragua to better serve Spanish-speaking customers in their native language.