TransferWise, the U.K. money transfer startup, has raised $292 million in a round of funding, giving it a valuation of $3.5 billion. To date, TransferWise has raised $689 million in venture funding.
Reuters, citing the company, reported the round was led by Lead Edge Capital, Lone Pine Capital, and Vitruvian Partners. Other participants included existing investors Baillie Gifford and Andreessen Horowitz. Reuters noted some of the investment was made by BlackRock funds as well. Investors who took part in previous funding raising rounds include Sir Richard Branson, Valar Ventures and PayPal co-founder Max Levchin.
TransferWise has been able to garner so much attention because it provides a cheaper and easier way to make money transfers internationally. The company has around 5 million customers and, according to Reuters, processes $5.08 billion monthly. The cross-border FinTech allows payments such as bank transfers, debit cards, and credit cards, providing an alternative to conducting business with a bank. It's among a crop of FinTechs that are disrupting the financial services sector, providing a way to do everything more cheaply, quickly and easily.
Kristo Käärmann, TransferWise’s chief executive and co-founder, told Reuters in an interview that the round enabled the company to add shareholders who are more aligned with the stage of growth TransferWise is currently in. “It’s an opportunity to bring on new investors, to bring on the right people for the next phase of growth and get validation that we are building something of increasing value,” Käärmann said. The executive noted TransferWise plans to hire 750 more people during the next year. Its headcount currently stands at 1,600.
In March Reuters reported TransfireWise was looking to raise $300 million at a valuation of $4 billion. At the time, Reuters reported Goldman Sachs Group was reportedly handling the fundraising round. The last time TransferWise had a fundraising round was 2017, when it had a valuation of $1.6 billion. Investors in that round included Old Mutual Global Investors and IVP, a venture capital firm.