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Accel Partners leads $40m investment in WorldRemit

12 Mar 2014

Online money transfer service WorldRemit has closed a $40m investment from venture capital firm  Accel Partners, in one of the largest Series A venture capital funding rounds completed in Europe.

WorldRemit’s online platform enables migrants and expats to send remittance payments to abroad. The investment will support the company’s expansion into new geographies and the development of additional products and services, it said.

According to The World Bank, $519bn of remittance payments were made in 2012, mostly via traditional players such as Western Union and MoneyGram, as well as smaller and informal operators. The majority of these payments are still conducted via a network of physical locations, resulting in an inefficient and expensive user experience. These traditional operators also create compliance risks associated with acceptance of cash at corner shops that leaves no audit trail.

WorldRemit with its online-only, cashless business model offers a more efficient, affordable and transparent remittance alternative to traditional money transfer operators. Founded in 2009, WorldRemit has partnered with leading international banks, mobile operator hubs and mobile money transfer networks including M-PESA, as well as local money transfer networks. The company currently enables more than 1.3 million annualised remittance transactions with the help of over 50 employees and expects to continue its rapid growth in 2014, expanding its staff to 200 employees by the end of the year.

Harry Nelis, Accel Partners said, “WorldRemit is moving remittance online, disrupting a traditionally offline business and democratizing payments. We are excited to be partnering with a team with the deep industry expertise that has enabled them to build the robust technology and strong compliance needed for a secure, trusted and world-class remittance business.”

Since its launch in 1983 Accel has invested in over 500 companies, including Angry Birds, Atlassian, Braintree, Brightcove, CAN Capital, Cloudera, ComScore, Dropbox, Etsy, Facebook, Funding Circle, Groupon, Kayak, OzForex, QlikTech, Spotify, Supercell and Wonga.

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