Billion-dollar London money transfer startup TransferWise is coming to the US

TransferWise foundersTransferWiseTransferWise founders Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann.

Andreessen Horowitz-backed money transfer startup TransferWise is expanding to the United States, the company announced today.

Based in London, the fintech company recently raised $US58 million in a Series C funding round led by Andreeesen Horowitz, with an estimated valuation of as much as $US1 billion. TransferWise aims to make overseas money transfers cheaper for consumers by using an peer-to-peer system.

It matches up payments with those going the opposite direction using sophisticated software. So “your” money never actually leaves the country — it’s rerouted to someone who’s being sent a similar amount by someone overseas. Your foreign recipient, meanwhile, receives their funds from someone trying to send money out of their own country. But customers never have to deal with this peer-to-peer complexity — they just select the receiver’s currency and enter their details.

TransferWise claims its services are, on average, eight times less expensive than the transfers offered by traditional banks.

With the opening on a New York office, customers can now send and receive US Dollars. Brazil, the Philippines, Canada, Malaysi and Nigeria have also been added to the platform today.

“We came up with this idea to save ourselves money, and we’ve continued to grow and expand our platform because we believe that people who live, work, study, or do business abroad shouldn’t be ripped off when they transfer their money,” said co-founder Taavet Hinrikus. “This launch means that expats living in the States no longer need to go along with the traditional banks’ old and unfair way of doing things.”

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