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Wise

A financial technology company offering money transfer service

Categories

Financial and Banking  

#1639

Rank

$9.24B

MarketCap GB

GB United Kingdom

Country

Summary

TransferWise is a money transfer service allowing private individuals and businesses to send money abroad without hidden charges. To be precise, TransferWise enables expats, foreign students, and businesses to move money around the world. The firm’s pricing model provides customers with a lower-cost alternative to traditional ways of moving money abroad and helps them avoid the traditional bank’s charges. TransferWise was founded in London in 2010 by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Kaarmann. Taavet was the first employee of Skype in 2003 and has worked with several startups as an angel investor and advisor. On the other hand, Kristo had worked for Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers. TransferWise is licensed and regulated by the UK Financial Services Authority.


History

Wise (formerly Transferwise) was founded by Taavet Hinrikus, Skype’s first employee, and financial consultant Kristo Käärmann. As Estonians working between their native country and the UK, they had personal experience of the “pain of international money transfer” due to bank charges on the amounts they needed to convert from euros to pounds and vice versa. In the words of Hinrikus, “I was losing five percent of the money each time I moved it. At the same time my co-founder Kristo Käärmann (also from Estonia) was starting to get paid in the UK and was losing a lot of money transferring cash back home to pay for a mortgage there.”. In February 2012, the company’s approval with the UK financial regulator was finalised. In April 2013, they stopped letting users purchase Bitcoin, citing pressure from banking providers. In its first year, transactions through Wise amounted to €10 million. In May 2017, the company announced its customers were sending over £1 billion every month using the service. In April 2017, it announced its decision to move its European headquarters from London to the European continent due to Brexit. The same month, the company announced its APAC hub in Singapore after becoming one of the first remittance companies to be allowed to offer online verification in Singapore. In 2019, the company opened its first Brussels’s office, and in January 2021 Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were appointed as its joint global coordinators for the company’s IPO. On 7 July 2021, Wise went public by a direct listing on London Stock Exchange and was valued at $11 billion.


Mission

Wise’s mission is to build money without borders- moving it instantly, transparently, conveniently, and eventually, for free.


Vision

The company focuses on creating a system of transferring money and remittances that is easy, low-cost, fair, and fast.


Recognition and Awards
May 2015: Ranked No. 8 on Disruptor 50 list by CNBC. August 2015: Named a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer.

References
Wise
Leadership team

Taavet Hinrikus (Chairman)

Kristo Käärmann (CEO)

Industries

Financial and Banking

Products/ Services
Financial services, remittance
Number of Employees
1,000 - 20,000
Headquarters
London
Established
2011
Revenue
100M - 500M
Traded as
WISE.L
Social Media

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