WorldRemit raises $40m for money transfer services upgrade
December 8—WorldRemit, a leading digital money transfer service has raised $40 million to drive its next phase of global growth, aiming to serve 10 million customers connected to emerging markets. Half of these customers will be in Africa including Uganda.
Ismail Ahmed, founder and CEO at WorldRemit in London said in mid-week, “This new funding will fuel our growth, and help bring our service to millions more customers across the globe.”
Money transfers to Africa account for more than half of WorldRemit’s total volume of transactions. The company currently handles 74% of remittances to popular mobile money services across Africa like MTN, Ecocash, Tigo Pesa, Vodafone M-Pesa and Airtel Money, making it the global leader in mobile-to-mobile international money transfers. Money can be received as a bank deposit, cash pick-up, Mobile Money, or mobile airtime top-up.
Born in Somaliland, Ahmed started the company after gaining years of experience working as a remittance specialist and former compliance advisor to the United Nations. Personal experience of using money transfer agents convinced Ismail that technology could improve the sending process, enhance compliance and reduce costs to the customer. Analysts estimate Ahmed’s business is worth nearly $700 million with revenues for 2017 expected to be at just over $80 million.
“Africa is a crucial market for us and over the next few years, we will expand our services so customers can send and receive with WorldRemit, getting the benefits of our fast, secure online service,” Ahmed said.
As part of the expansion, WorldRemit will enable customers in Africa to transfer money to 148 countries as easily as sending an instant message, using the WorldRemit app.
Countries in Africa which now receive remittances through WorldRemit, will become send countries. Most importantly, the new service will make sending money within Africa faster, easier and low cost. According to the World Bank, inter-Africa transfers are amongst the most expensive in the world.
Since its last funding round in 2015, WorldRemit has launched 206 new services across the globe and has grown its transaction volume by 400%. Last month, WorldRemit became the first-ever online money transfer partner for English Premier league club, Arsenal FC.
In June 2017 WorldRemit added Android Pay to its service, offering a new way for WorldRemit’s Android Pay users to safely and securely send money to 130 million mobile money accounts accessible via its network.