TransferWise, the online money transfer service startup, is now valued at $5 billion thanks to a secondary share sale as investors embrace online payments amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the London-based company announced Tuesday (July 29).
The money transfer firm gave employees and its original investors the chance to sell some of their stakes in the $319 million secondary deal. To date, the company said it has attracted more than $1 billion in primary and secondary share sale transactions.
The 9-year-old unicorn, the term used to describe a startup company with a value of more than $1 billion, calls itself one of the world’s fastest-growing tech firms. It competes with MoneyGram and Western Union by lowering fees and adding a platform to help customers move money across borders.
TransferWise boasts a total of 8 million customers across the globe and processes 4 billion pounds ($5.2 billion) payments monthly.
“There’s lots of talk about unicorns, but in reality we’re building something even more rare,” said CEO and Co-Founder Kristo Kaarmann in a statement. “We’ve been funded exclusively by our customers for the last few years and we didn’t need to raise external funding for the company. This secondary round provides an opportunity for new investors to come in, alongside rewarding the investors and employees who’ve helped us succeed so far.”
Ten banks across three continents, including Monzo, N26, Bunq, and Aspire in Singapore, offer TransferWise’s service to their millions of customers, the company said.
“TransferWise has built an exceptional platform within the cross-border payments ecosystem by maintaining an unwavering focus on its customers and constantly innovating,” said Teddy Gleser, partner at D1 Capital Partners, in a statement. “We have been impressed by the extensibility of TransferWise’s platform, which now includes individuals, businesses and financial institutions among its customers.”
The company recently announced it has received approval from the Financial Conduct Authority, a financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom, to offer savings and investments options in the U.K. through the TransferWise borderless account, with the new product set to launch within a year.
The new tools are intended to help small- to medium-sized businesses manage revenue, profit and cash flow as the coronavirus pandemic upended business and daily life.