Remitly, one of the fastest-growing remittance services, has hit a new milestone with over $1 billion in annual transfers.
The startup's fast-paced growth comes against intensifying competition among FinTech startups, like PayPal's Xoom, TransferWise and WorldRemit, which are striving to cut themselves a bigger share of the global remittance market that saw $582 billion in transfers last year.
The Seattle-based startup's new achievement is on the heels of its Series C funding in which the it raised $38.5 million, pushing the total investment in the company to $61 million. The latest investment round was led by Stripes Group and saw participation from previous investors, including Jeff Bezos' investment firm, Bezos Expeditions, DFJ, DN Capital, Trilogy Equity Partners and Paul Allen's Vulcan Capital, according to TechCrunch.
“Remitly’s rapid growth in a large and well-defined hundred-year-old market is a great example of how a new generation of companies is using technology and leveraging mobile adoption to deliver better, faster and more secure solutions to increasingly discerning consumers — all at lower costs,” said Stripes Group Partner Ron Shah in a statement. “By doing this, Remitly is impacting people’s lives in a significant way, and we’re excited to join the team as they continue to expand their global footprint.”
Remitly, which, until now, has provided support for remittance services to India, Mexico and the Philippines, is also expanding its presence to Canada — a country that reportedly sees about $23 billion in remittance transfers every year. While the expansion positions the startup better against Western Union — the biggest player with a 17 percent share in the global remittance market — its climb is set to be an uphill battle.
Currently, Remitly's online and mobile platform offers free, three-day money transfers and charges over $3.99 per transaction for expedited transfers. Though the transfer fee is well below the average 8 percent service charge that Western Union levies, it falls short in providing the most competitive currency exchange rates.