London-based international money transfer firm TransferWise has raised a $58m round led by Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz’s ANDREESSEN HOROWITZ for its global expansion. Horowitz will join the firm’s board to help the firm which operates mostly in Europe, US and India to expand globally.
If it fully launches in Africa, Money Gram, Western Union and a string of others will be in big trouble with Transfers no hidden fees charter. In the meantime, the firm will open an office in the US next month and then another in Germany and Australia and as well open 300 further currency routes in the next year.
Ben Horowitz, co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, said:”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, but it could not have come at a better time. Since there has been little to no innovation from the traditional banking sector, we see massive opportunity for new financial institutions like TransferWise.”
TransferWise recently raised $25m from Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Index Ventures, Sir Richard Branson and other investors in a move to raise awareness of the hidden fees applied to overseas money transfers.
TransferWise launched in early 2011 and now has 250 members of staff, 292 currency routes and its customers have transferred £3bn using the platform – saving themselves over £135m.
Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of TransferWise, said:“Andreessen Horowitz’s interest in TransferWise shows how ripe financial services are for disruption. For too long legacy providers’ dominance of the market has allowed consumers to be hoodwinked into paying huge hidden charges for services as basic as currency exchange.”
“We’re excited to have Ben join our board. His experience will help us take our revolution in financial services across the globe, starting with the US offices we’re launching.”