Weeks after Facebook took aim at its core business, Seattle-based Remitly notched $135 million in funding at a valuation of almost $1 billion. The company homes in on the remittances of immigrants to relatives and friends, who can receive the money through their phones, in their bank accounts or in cash, the Financial Times reported.
The FinTech firm reportedly intends to use the $135 million in new equity for growth, including geographic expansion. While the company does not have a fixed new target market, Remitly Co-founder and Chief Matt Oppenheimer reportedly said there are expansion opportunities in a global remittances space that is quickly digitizing.
According to FT, Oppenheimer noted that the company has no plans to put itself up for sale or have an initial public offering (IPO). “We are very, very mission-driven, building the highest quality financial services for a group that has traditionally been underserved,” he said.
Generation Investment Management, a long-term investment vehicle that was co-founded by Al Gore, led the company’s fundraise. While the company did not make its valuation known, an unnamed source said it is now worth almost $1 billion. That would be higher than its $450 million valuation in 2017, but not as high as TransferWise’s $3.5 billion.
The news comes as Facebook’s plans for its Libra digital currency were recently announced. The project has remittances as a “core focus,” stated the FT report.
In separate Remitly news, Visa announced earlier this year that it will power real-time P2P for Remitly via its Visa Direct instant push payments platform. Remitly would have the ability to send funds from the United States to eligible Visa debit card holders across borders, per reports at the time. According to Remitly, the tie-up would simplify the complexity of moving money internationally and remove delays in getting money to receivers. Remitly noted in a release that it intends to use Visa Direct to “unlock more choices for its customers to send cross-border payments in real time.”