Seattle-based mobile payments startup Remitly raises $85M in new funding at $1.5 billion valuation
The last time we wrote about Remitly was back in May 2019 when the Seattle-based mobile payments startup acquired Symphoni, a small Seattle startup building software that helps immigrant and underserved small business owners access credit. The amount of the deal was not disclosed. Remitly has grown exponentially since our last story.
Today, Remitly announced it has raised $85 million in a new round of funding to expand its suite of digital financial services products at a time its customers need them most. The round was led by financial services provider PayU, with participation from returning partners Generation Investment Management, Owl Rock Capital, Stripes, DN Capital, Top Tier, Princeville Global, and Threshold Ventures. With the latest funding, Remitly becomes a member of the coveted unicorn club at $1.5 billion valuation.
Founded in 2011 by Joshua Hug, Matthew Oppenheimer, and Shivaas Gulati, Remitly is a mobile payment service that enables consumers to conveniently make person-to-person international money transfers from the United States. Its online service is disrupting the $588 billion a year industry by using the latest technology and mobile devices to eliminate unnecessary forms, codes, agents, extra time and fees tied to the traditional money transfer process. Remitly describes itself as the largest independent mobile remittance company in North America.
As a licensed money transmitter, Remitly currently operates in 49 states and Washington, D.C., and spends millions of dollars to thousands of customers each month. Remitly is backed by Stripes Group, DFJ, Vulcan Capital, QED, Trilogy Equity Partners, DN Capital, Founders Co-Op, Bezos Expeditions, and TomorrowVentures.
“As the current health crisis continues to devastate the global economy and disproportionately impact developing countries, immigrants are increasingly turning to digital solutions to address their financial needs and ensure they are still able to send critical funds home to their loved ones,” said Matt Oppenheimer, Remitly Co-founder and CEO. “Remitly was born out of this necessity – to provide the underserved, underbanked and overlooked access to financial services anytime, anywhere. And our digital solutions have never been needed more than they are today. This latest round of funding will allow us to continue meeting our customers’ broad set of financial needs, and providing affordable, convenient and secure solutions as we navigate this uncertain time and beyond.”
While the World Bank forecast global remittances to decline by 20 percent in 2020 due to the economic crisis, Remitly has seen 200 percent new customer growth year-over-year. And customers who once relied on traditional remittance providers are now faced with quarantines, the shuttering of brick and mortar locations and limited access to traditional financial services. Faced with these challenges, customers are rapidly shifting to digital solutions to continue sending money to their loved ones across the world.
“The future of remittances has always been digital, but that shift has accelerated rapidly over the past few months with the demand for safe and convenient solutions to send money,” Oppenheimer said. “And with this investment, we are eager to continue innovating and building superior products that will meet our customers’ needs today and for years to come.”