WorldRemit raises $40m to target 10 million customers in Africa
The Series C round was led by LeapFrog Investments, with significant participation from existing investors Accel and TCV
Leading digital money transfer service WorldRemit has raised $40 million to drive its next phase of growth, supporting its plan to serve 10 million customers connected to emerging markets by 2020. The Series C funding round brings the total amount raised to $220m.
Currently sending from over 50 countries to 148 destinations, the funding will be used to expand WorldRemit’s service into new markets, deliver innovative products and services, and scale the technology that underpins its mobile-first, digital model.
The Series C round was led by LeapFrog Investments, with significant participation from existing investors Accel and TCV.
WorldRemit handles a growing share of the $600 billion migrant money transfer market – better known as remittances. The company is a global leader in international transfers to mobile money accounts – an emerging market technology where a customer’s phone numbers acts like a bank account to hold funds.
LeapFrog is the largest dedicated equity investor in financial services and healthcare for emerging market consumers, supporting fast-growth firms that deliver social impact alongside commercial returns by empowering low-income customers. LeapFrog’s existing portfolio reaches 111 million people.
Ismail Ahmed, founder and CEO at WorldRemit, comments: “This new funding will fuel our growth, and help bring our service to millions more customers across the globe. We are pleased to attract LeapFrog Investments, a strategic investor whose profit with a purpose mission is aligned with ours.”
Stewart Langdon, Partner at LeapFrog Investments, adds: “This investment is an opportunity to bring a global leader in digital remittances into the LeapFrog portfolio. WorldRemit’s model is uniquely suited to scale and offers a best in class service that is vital to the livelihood of millions of consumers in LeapFrog’s core markets. The company also has a huge potential to expand globally – a combination that puts it at the heart of our profit with purpose philosophy. I’m delighted that a world-class fintech company like WorldRemit is choosing LeapFrog as its partner for growth in the emerging markets.”
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 Arsenal FC’s first-ever online money transfer partner.
This latest funding round follows a Series B investment raised from TCV in 2015 and a Series A from Accel and Project A in 2014 – then one of the largest ever Series A rounds in Europe.
WorldRemit was founded in 2010 by Ismail Ahmed, 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.
In November 2017 WorldRemit became Arsenal FC’s first-ever online money transfer partner in a global sponsorship deal for all Premier League, League Cup and FA Cup games. 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.
WorldRemit has secured $220 million in funding backed by Accel and TCV – early investors in Facebook, Spotify, Netflix and Slack – and LeapFrog. WorldRemit’s global headquarters are in London, UK with regional offices in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Japan, Singapore, the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand.