At Transferwise we provide a platform for international money transfers.
We hope that providing a cheap way of transferring money we can provide a fairer way for everyone to complete international money transfers. We know that many ways to transfer money, through banks, brokers etc attract very high charges and some of these are even hidden form the customer so only once the transfer has taken place do you see how high the fees were. We have no hidden fees and use a system of transferring money which involves peer to peer technology. This means that it is cheaper for us and we can pass those savings on to you. It can be up to ten times cheaper than using a bank for the same transaction. Therefore you will see how much the costs are as everything is transparent and you will not be charged as highly as many other places.
How Transferwise Started
TransferWise started when our founders, Taavet and Kristo, realised how much money it cost to transfer money between the UK and Estonia.Both were involved with having to pay money abroad in different currencies with Taavet being paid in Euros when living in London and Kristo paying a mortgage in Estonia but also being based in London. They each needed what the other had so they figured out a fair way to exchange money between themselves, using the mid-market rate – without the mark-up rate and fees charged by the bank. They saved thousands of pounds and realized there were millions of people across the world who could do the same.
So the founding principle of our company is fairness – otherwise you’d be screwing over your friend and no-one wants to do that.
At the moment Transferwise is very popular. We deal with more the £500m worth of transaction each month and we calculate that means that we are saving those customer £22m a month.
The company started just transferring British Pounds and Euros in 2011 but things have grown rapidly and it has since added over 350 members of staff and 360 currency routes. The firm continues to grow between 15-20 percent a month.
Andreessen Horowitz, Sir Richard Branson, Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Index Ventures, IA Ventures, TAG (Robin Klein and Saul Klein personally), David Yu (Betfair former CEO), Xavier Niel (owner of Le Monde and the Free brand), Seedcamp and Max Levchin (founder of PayPal) among others.
TransferWise was named Europas Best Startup in 2013. It won the Financial Times’s ‘Boldness in Business Award’ in 2014, was selected as one of Fast Company’s ‘most innovative companies’ in the world, Wired’s ‘Top 10 London Startups’ 2014 and most recently named as one of ‘CNBC’s digital disruptors’.
Stop Hidden Fees
Hidden fees are something that Transferwise feel really strongly against. This si why they set up a petition with the British government to request they do something about it. The petition attracted 18,000 signatures just in a week and it is possible to still visit the website and sign it at stophiddenfees.co.uk. The Shadow Digital Minister Chi Onwurah MP has championed the cause as well as other MPs including Tessa Jowell.
About the Founders
Before being a co-founder of Transferwise, Taavet Hinrikus had a lot of business experience. He was the director of strategy at Skype until 2008 after being its first employee. He is an angel investor, mentor and has a selection of interesting investments. These include Mapillary, Sunrise, Improbably Mendeley, Tweetdeck and OMGPOP. His main role in Transferwise is product development and marketing.
The other co-founder of Transferwise is Kristo Kaarmann. Kristo previously worked for Deliotte Consulting and PricewaterhouseCoopers as a management consultant. He worked to modernize systems and processes in European insurance companies and banks. He works in Transferwise on development, compliance and operations.
Transferwise is fully regulated by the FCA in the UK. This is the Financial Conduct Authority which was previously known as the Financial Services Authority (FCA). REF 571669
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