WorldRemit raises new funds to grow its money transfer business

June 05, 2019 14:51
WorldRemit has focused on enabling competitively-priced, quick money transfers from migrant workers and immigrants back home to their families, typically in developing countries. Photo: WorldRemit

WorldRemit, a London-based payment technology company that enables expatriates and migrant workers to send money back to their home countries, has raised US$175 million in new funding.

The Series D financing was supported by returning investors TCV, Accel Partners and Leapfrog Investments, taking the total amount of venture funding that WorldRemit has raised to date to over US$386 million, according to the company.

WorldRemit hasn't disclosed the valuation, but according to TechCrunch the post-money value of the firm is at US$900 million.

That marks a significant jump from the US$668 million the firm was valued at in its Series C funding round in December 2017.

Founded in 2010, WorldRemit has focused on providing competitively-priced, convenient money transfers for remittances for expatriates and migrant workers, via a mobile application, offering an alternative to more expensive options from dominant agents in the market such as Western Union and MoneyGram.

CNBC reported in 2018 that WorldRemit’s business is highly focused on Africa, with half of the customers based in the continent, and that the company has been investing heavily in partnerships within Africa and Latin America.

In a press statement, WorldRemit said it currently serves almost 4 million customers transferring money from 50 “send” countries to 150 “receive” countries, operating in 6,500 money transfer corridors worldwide. It said the US became its biggest “send” country last year, after the firm won a license to operate across all 50 states.

When the company announced its Series C round, it said in a statement that it expects to hit 10 million customers “connected to emerging markets” by 2020. The target now appears far too ambitious.

WorldRemit said it will use the fresh capital to further push its global growth, and diversify its product offerings. The company is set to launch a money transfer solution targeting small and medium-sized business owners who trade internationally, especially in emerging markets.

In the fast-growing global remittance market, although traditional incumbents such as Western Union are still dominating, the rise of online payments and mobile technology has sparked a boom in startups focusing on cross-border money transfer business, like TransferWise, which was valued at US$3.5 billion after an investment round last month.

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