Remittance Startup WorldRemit Gets $100 Million in Funding, Valuing Company at over $500 Million

A UK-based startup, WorldRemit, has gotten another $100 million in funding, valuing the company at more than $500 million. The investment

A UK-based startup, WorldRemit, has gotten another $100 million in funding, valuing the company at more than $500 million.

The investment was made by Technology Crossover Ventures and existing investor, Accel, which previously invested $40 million.

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WorldRemit joins a growing contingent of online offerings looking to slash the cost of sending money overseas. Traditional players like Western Union and MoneyGram can potentially charge 10% or more, depending on various factors.

By 2016, the global remittance market will handle an estimated $700 billion, according to the World Bank.

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The company currently processes 250,000 transactions per month. It saw its revenues grow from $9.3 million in 2013 to $25 million in 2014, and expects a similar rate of growth this year.

It sees the biggest potential for growth with its mobile wallets, which can be used for airtime top-ups. There are also physical pick-up locations, but the company sees less reliance on these over time.

The service is currently supported in 50 countries for sending money, and 117 for receiving it.

The funding will go towards building out its global service, particularly in the U.S., from where roughly 10% of global remittances originate. This is more than any other country, with Saudi Arabia a distant second.

The opportunity to slash high remittance fees has attracted numerous entrants with varying technologies to the market. Bitcoin has been leveraged as a means for bypassing banks, with new services like Rebit.ph even offering free transfers.

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