Facebook has partnered with TransferWise for international money transfers as the firm continues to increase its financial services activity on the platform; TransferWise has internally developed a Facebook Messenger chatbot that will facilitate the international money transfer service; the service will expand on Facebook's current domestic money transfer capabilities. Source
Financial Times highlights TransferWise and Funding Circle who are growing their market share in the UK; Transferwise has collected $280 million from investors and Funding Circle has surpassed high-street banks in net new lending; Funding Circle lent £114 million in the three months to September; Samir Desai, co-founder and chief executive of Funding Circle stated, "If I was a big bank, I would be really worried about this..." Source
Companies like TransferWise, Venmo and PayPal have forced banks in Europe to look at creating their own affordable real-time payments service; the idea is in the early stages but it shows the effect that fintech players can have on the traditional banks; the service would also look to head off the increased competitive threat from open banking which is set to begin in early 2018. Source.
UK based fintech firms helped push technology investment in the UK to all time highs in 2017; fintech firms accounted for almost half of the £3bn invested; leading fintech firms TransferWise, Funding Circle and Monzo helped push the investment number as they all raised significant rounds; Eileen Burbidge, Partner at Passion Capital, tells AltFi, “"It's a testament to our exceptional entrepreneurs that the UK tech sector continues to produce companies that are leading in the development of cutting edge technologies such as artificial intelligence and fintech.” Source.
In an interview with Tearsheet Bradley Leimer, managing director and head of fintech strategy at Explorer Advisor & Capital says companies are underestimating content; most VC’s focus on who can be the next Robinhood or TransferWise when there is plenty of opportunities in the market; companies can use customer data to better educate and better target consumers for a specific financial product; there are a lot of interesting companies in the market who can find their niche to perform and offer consumers more choose. Source.
Institutional Venture Partners (IVP) has also invested in Netflix, Snapchat and Twitter; with the newest round of funding the company's value is expected to increase to over $1 billion; it has previously raised a total of $116 million; the firm is currently doing more than GBP1 billion ($1.29 billion) of transfers per month on its platform; new initiatives include opening a Singapore office, launching a borderless business account and adding its service to Facebook Messenger. Source
International money transfer firm TransferWise announced a $280mn series E raise; investors in the round include Old Mutual Global Investors, IVP, Sapphire Ventures, Mitsui & Co., Andreessen Horowitz, Baillie Gifford and Richard Branson; they plan to use the funds for expansion to the Asia Pacific region by having a full set of products available in India and opening offices in Tokyo and Sydney. Source.
Remittances is a huge business with over $600 billion remitted every year; the fintech startups currently leading are WorldRemit, TransferWise and Remitly; the WSJ breaks down the various offerings as well as the other players in the industry; includes data on the remittance market across the globe and trends in the industry. Source
TransferWise is privately launching a borderless account and debit card; the move is beginning to draw comparisons to other fintech companies like Revolut; the account will be rolled out in a small launch then a full launch thereafter; the account will give you access to local bank details for the UK, US, Australia and Europe, as well as allowing you to hold and convert 28 currencies; the move is not seen as replacing the current account but is instead a partner account; the account would allow people working in different countries to convert to their local currency without the hassle of additional fees or having to join a local bank. Source.
TransferWise is the first fintech to join the Bank of England’s Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system; described as game changing for the company the deal will allow them to lower costs, be on equal footing as banks and offer instant transfers to GBP. Source.