TransferWise, the international money transfer company and one of Europe’s better-known unicorns, has announced $280 million in new investment today. The Series E round is led by asset management firm Old Mutual Global Investors, and Silicon Valley VC firm IVP... A source close to TransferWise, which has been profitable since early 2017, tells me the new funding values the seven-year old company at $1.6 billion.
The So What: Remittances are heating up! The last online remittance company to go public (that I can recall) was Xoom back in 2013 at valuation a little over $500MM before being purchased by PayPal in 2015 for ~$890MM. Building out competing online to offline networks similar to Western Union's agent network is quite cost-intensive, not to mention increasing acquisition costs driven by other well-funded technology companies. Will be interesting to see who finally wins out in this market and how it doesn't become just a race to the bottom on price + distribution.