You probably could have seen this coming given the kind words by Peter Thiel in TransferWise’s previous press release, but the PayPal co-founder has led a new €4.6 million ($6 million) investment into Transferwise through Valar Ventures. Transferwise raised about €1 million a year ago, led by IA Ventures, Index Ventures, and Max Levchin, another co-founder of Paypal.
“Innovation in the banking industry typically involves rent-seeking or unsound derivatives, which offer marginal benefits to consumers. TransferWise demonstrates true innovation in banking by enabling its users to retain their wealth across borders,” says Peter Thiel.
As a catch-up, TransferWise allows its users to make cheap cross-border wire transfers by avoiding retail banks’s ridiculous extra fees. Transferwise gives you an exchange rate very close to the spot rate, and charges a small fee on top. To do so, they somewhat match up people sending money in each country. Today they allow transfers between the Euro, British Pound, US Dollar, Polish Zloty, Danish, Swedish and Norwegian Krone.
The company was founded in 2011, and now boasts a staff of over 30, and says it’s continuing to grow 30% every month.
“We’re delighted to have Peter Thiel as an investor. He really understands how to bring innovation into the banking sector – which is exactly what we’re doing at TransferWise. His investment will help accelerate our expansion plans,” says Taavet Hinrikus, Skype’s first employee and co-founder of Transferwise.