Money transfer service TransferWise is now valued at $3.5 billion, a figure it said it attained following a $292 million secondary funding round.
The round, which saw no new shares issued or capital raised, is essentially a way for early investors and employees to cash in by selling some of their stock to newer investors. According to the company, Lead Edge Capital, Lone Pine Capital, and Vitruvian Partners led the stock purchase, while existing investors Andreessen Horowitz and Baillie Gifford also expanded their stake in the London-based company, alongside funds managed by BlackRock.
For the uninitiated, TransferWise is a major player in the fintech realm, with a peer-to-peer international money transfer platform that helps consumers bypass banks to cut down on foreign exchange rates. The company also offers so-called “borderless” accounts for businesses and consumers, allowing anyone to easily gain access to a local bank account in various markets around the world. In fact, TransferWise said that its own investors used TransferWise for Business to save some of the fees while settling the $292 million financing.
That TransferWise has elected to go down this secondary funding route is notable, as it allows the company to generate liquidity without having to go public — a sign that an IPO isn’t on its near-term roadmap. The company, which has previously raised $480 million in its 8-year lifespan and is already profitable, said that no existing shareholder — including its founders, Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann — sold more than 20% of their stake.
This move also gives us a glimpse into the health of the company, from an investor’s perspective at least. Its valuation now sits at about double the figure of its last round of funding in 2017. Moreover, the company also shared that it now has 5 million customers globally, 25% up on the 4 million it reported back in September, and that it plans to add 750 new hires to its existing team of 1,600 around the world over the next year.
“TransferWise is experiencing phenomenal growth and this investment is testament to that,” added CEO Käärmann. “We don’t need to raise funds to continue on this trajectory, but we’re humbled by the persistent level of interest in joining our mission. The round provides a way for these investors to buy in, alongside rewarding some of the earliest contributors who’ve been with us since the beginning.”