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London-headquartered FinTech company TransferWise has become profitable, only 6 years after being founded in 2011 by Estonian friends Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Kaarmann who wanted to shake up the money transfer market.
Kristo had bills to pay in Estonia and his salary was in pounds, while Taavet (Who formerly was Skype’s first employee) needed sterling to live in the UK but was being paid in euros. They found a way of transferring money into each other’s account without paying banks extra fees and TransferWise was born.
TransferWise now lets people seamlessly send money overseas online and have built a strong brand which resonates by being cheap with a great user experience, but more importantly is transparent, which is no doubt leaving banks who have long been “discreetly” charging extortionate fees shaking in their boots as their grip on the space loosens more and more.
— Henry Joseph-Grant (@speirin) May 10, 2017
Taavet commented: “We’re building one of the few new global financial services brands that are coming out now… To have hit break-even just six years on from launch shows how strong the foundations of our business are. This is just the starting point.”
Over £1 billion is moved using the TransferWise platform each month and in total they now have over 1 million customers, the company says it expects to add another 1 million customers this year. This has resulted in £8 million a month in revenue and it is expected they should hit £100 million in total this year, impressive growth, Revenues grew by 150% last year and the current projections will put them well on course to have >100% year on year growth again.
The company is expected to make a small loss before tax of around £2.6m in the financial year ended March 2017, but says it was profitable this calendar year and expect to be so moving forwards, anyone who knows the costs involved in growing a hyper growth company will understand how steady a ship TransferWise is based on their impressive growth and financial performance.
— Henry Joseph-Grant (@speirin) February 10, 2016
TransferWise is now valued at $1.1bn (£850m) giving them ‘unicorn’ status (for the non startup/techies reading this that is a term used for firms that are privately-owned start-ups valued at $1bn or higher)
Two of TransferWise’s earliest investors were Seedcamp and LocalGlobe, who are two of Europe’s most respected and successful early stage investors, TransferWise have gone on to raise a total of $116.37m in further investment rounds, from a variety of top names such as Sir Richard Branson, PayPal cofounder and early Facebook investor Peter Thiel, Betfair co-founder David Yu and top venture capital firms such as Index Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz, which is in my opinion the coolest VC firm in the world, founded by Silicon Valley heavyweights Ben Horowitz and Marc Andreessen.
TransferWise now have assembled a team >700 people, too many great names to mention but one that really stands out to me is Nilan Peiris VP Growth, he is someone who I have always rated highly and is testament to the calibre of the team at TransferWise.
Well done to everyone at TransferWise! It’s fantastic to see you all kicking ass and it is super inspirational for other startups to know what is possible being HQ’d in Europe!
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