Business, Investments

London based start-up TransferWise raises USD 25 million

TransferWise, is a London-based money transfer company that has raised USD 25 million in a fresh round of funding, as per NewsDuet reports. The investors Sir Richard Branson, Valar Ventures, IA Ventures, Index Ventures, TAG, and Kima Ventures have participated in the round.

The company plans to use the raised funds to expand marketing strategy and for hiring purpose. It was established in 2010 by Co-Founders Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Kaarmann. Earlier, it had received USD 6 million in series A round. In 2012, the firm secured USD 1.30 million funding in Seed investment. Till date, including this round, the company has a total capital of USD 32.40 million.

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LondonlovesBusiness says: TransferWise’s co-founder Branson said: “Financial services such as foreign exchange have been ripe for disruption for decades and it’s great to see TransferWise bring transparency to the market,”.

“It’s encouraging to see entrepreneurs using technology to reinvent the old-fashioned FX industry and make a real difference in the market. I see tremendous opportunity for startups like Transferwise to offer breakthrough financial services and products,” he added.

VentureBeat says: Transferwise says it will use the new money to raise awareness of the hidden fees applied to overseas money transfers, among other things. Banks and brokers typically hide transfer fees within the exchange rate they offer, the company says. TransferWise believes that all costs should be presented upfront and only the mid-market exchange rate should be used to process transactions.

“We’re going to use this money to lead the charge against hidden bank fees and expose the problem to a wider audience,” Taavet Hinrikus, cofounder of TransferWise, said in an official statement. “It’s outrageous that they can get away with advertising that claims their transfers are ‘fee-free’ despite often taking up to 5 percent of the money sent through the exchange rate.”

TechCrunch says: The money transfer market is heating up. More curious, however, this comes amid recent reports Facebook is eying up the money transfer market and has been talking to a number of London-based fintech startups, including TransferWise.

When those reports first surfaced, Hinrikus refused to be drawn into speculation regarding the über-social network, except to say, if true, it validated the need to bring greater transparency to financial services and in particular the hidden fees charged by banks when transferring money from one currency/country to another.

“If someone as big as Facebook comes into the space, then I think that’s only going to be beneficial to everyone,” he said, in typical ‘we welcome competition’ startup speak. When asked today whether or not TransferWise are still in talks or working with Facebook in some way, Hinrikus offered “no comment”.

More from NewsDuetBy using a P2P variation, the startup is ready to undercut the banks and different legacy competitors when sending money abroad, whereas at the same time exposing the dearth of pricing transparency across the business.

normally, incumbent gamers, such because the banks or Western Union, inspire consumers to check money transfer fees without being made aware about the mark-up brought to the trade rate offered. TransferWise wants to alter this.

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