In a sign that immigrants are a vital part of the U.S. economy, international money-transfer platform Remitly has raised a total of $220 million to propel its growth internationally, the Seattle-based financial-tech startup announced.
Remitly operates a mobile service that can be used to send and receive money across international borders, a service tapped frequently by immigrants who support families in their home countries. The money transfers are known as foreign remittances, which represented a $625 billion global market as of 2017, according to the Pew Research Center.
The Pew remittance estimate includes some $148.5 billion sent from the U.S. to other countries in 2017, with Mexico topping the list of receiving nations at $30 billion, followed by China, $16.1 billion; India, $11.7 billion; and the Philippines, $11.1 billion.
Remitly’s latest funding round includes $135 million in Series E equity and $85 million in syndicated debt financing. The equity funding round was led by Generation Investment Management, a fund based in London that was co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore. The debt component, a revolving credit line, was provided through several lenders and was led by Silicon Valley Bank.
It's the latest big win for a Seattle tech company. Last month, sales-enablement company Highspot raised $60 million, and Outreach, also a sales-enablement company, nabbed $114 million earlier this year.
“We are transforming the way that people send money home, bringing convenience, savings, security and new levels of customer service to an underserved community,” says Remitly Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Matt Oppenheimer. “At the same time, our business has been close to doubling year-on-year. This fundraising round will help us deliver better financial products to even more customers around the globe.”
The company, founded in 2011 as Beamit Mobile, over the past year has expanded its reach to include 16 “send” countries and 44 “receiving” countries. It has major offices in London, Manila and Managua.
Currently, the company transfers some $6 billion in annualized volume through its global money-transfer network that extends across Africa, Asia, Central Europe, Central and South America. “The latest round of financing will help to extend and deepen the company’s presence internationally, and to bring the service to many more countries,” states a press release issued by Remitly.