Andreessen Horowitz, the venture capital firm created by Netscape and Opsware founders Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, has led a series c $58 million (£36 million) funding round in financial tech startup TransferWise, which provides a money transfer platform.
TransferWise’s existing investors, including Sir Richard Branson, Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Index Ventures, IA Ventures, and Seedcamp, also participated in the latest funding round.
TransferWise launched in early 2011 with the two founders making transfers between just the British pound and euro. It now has 250 members of staff, 292 currency routes and says it continues to grow between 15-20 percent a month. Customers are said to have transferred a total of £3 billion using the platform, “saving themselves over £135 million”, says TransferWise.
The startup says it will use the funds for global expansion. It opens its US office next month and will be opening offices in Germany and in Australia in the next few months. The company says it plans to open 300 further currency routes in the next year.
TransferWise has also announced the appointment of two regional managers - Joe Cross in the US and Moritz Kork in Germany. Cross was one of the first employees of TransferWise, and has been heading up the company’s marketing operation. Prior to this, he was head of strategy and brand at shopping and travel site Kelkoo. Moritz Kork was a co-founder of Citydeal and international VP at Groupon. At Groupon, he oversaw operations in four countries before and after the company’s IPO.
Horowitz has joined the company’s board to help accelerate the company’s global rollout. Andreessen Horowitz's other notable investments include Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, GitHub and Pinterest.
Horowitz said: “Not only is TransferWise's solution 10 times better than the old way of exchanging foreign currency, but it could not have come at a better time. Since there has been little to no innovation from the traditional banking sector, we see massive opportunity for new financial institutions like TransferWise."
Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of TransferWise, said: “Andreessen Horowitz’s interest in TransferWise shows how ripe financial services are for disruption. For too long legacy providers’ dominance of the market has allowed consumers to be hoodwinked into paying huge hidden charges for services as basic as currency exchange.”
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