Leading online payment portal TransferWise has received heavyweight backing after 4 years in the market from one of the top investment firms- Andreessen Horowitz. Established by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann in 2011 TransferWise is climbing up the league of online payment options with their competitive exchange rates and transparent transfer policies.
Ben Horowitz expressed their excitement over funding the team “We are thrilled to be backing Taavet and Kristo. They discovered an important secret and are are uniquely prepared to pursue it. Not only is their solution 10 times better than the old way of exchanging foreign currency, it could not have come at a better time. We see massive opportunity for new financial institutions like TransferWise.
The duo stumbled upon the idea when they devised a simple scheme to receive overseas transfers sans hidden bank fees. Each month the pair checked that day’s mid-market rate on Reuters to find a fair exchange rate. Kristo put pounds into Taavet’s UK bank account, and Taavet topped up his friend’s euro account with euros. Both got the currency they needed, and neither paid a cent in hidden bank fees.
The funding will allow the business to expand and offer more people their services. TransferWise currently serves 292 currency routes. This year 300 more are planned. With customers in more than 50 countries, they plan to reach out to a lot more.
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The funding led by Horowitz also includes Richard Branson, Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Index Ventures, IA Ventures, and Seedcamp. 16z founder Ben Horowitz also joins the TranferWise board of directors, his first seat in Europe.
Taavei in the online blog noted “We’re honoured to have the backing and mentorship of some of the world’s smartest and most esteemed innovators. We’re building a transparent, fair and truly global world of finance, but the bank’s party isn’t over yet.”
(image source: TechCrunch)