Remittance Startup Remitly raises big $115M round led by Naspers’ PayU

  • 31 October 2017
  • Jermaine Wright

Seattle-based remittance company Remitly announced today it has raised a huge Series D round of $115 million.

It is bigger than the $100 million accumulative amount of funding that Remitly had raised to date.

The round comes at a period of significant growth for Remitly, one of the bigger startups using tech to take on Western Union, MoneyGram and other offline incumbents in the remittance space, grew its annual send volume to nearly $4 billion, up from $1 billion the previous year.

This is mainly due to the six-year-old company’s large-scale expansion in the last year to seven additional receiving markets in the United Kingdom and several countries in South America (Colombia, Nicaragua, Honduras, Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador and Peru).

With $450 billion getting sent from countries like the U.S. to emerging markets in 2017 alone, according to the World Bank, International remittances continue to be one of the biggest financial services in developing countries.

According to the World Bank, remittances sent to developing countries should increase by 4.8 percent to $450 billion in 2017.

Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, are projected to grow by 3.9 percent to $596 billion.

So the large round of funding will further help the remittance company, which lets people in the U.S., Canada and U.K. send money electronically in developing countries across South America, Asia and Africa, to meet the demand.

Having PayU as a major investor is a significant strategic advantage for Remitly. It lends an opportunity for them get a firm footing in one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia.

PayU launched out in India, where it has expanded aggressively since in part through acquisitions.

India represents a massive remittance market with the second-biggest country in the world in terms of population. India accounts for $68.9 billion of the global total in 2015 and is projected to grow even further.

Remitly can now potentially start to offer money receiving services to PayU’s existing customers in India.

Another advantage is the potential ways the startup might start to expand its services.

PayU is one of the more prolific investors in fintech startups having poured hundreds of millions into Kreditech, which focuses on online loans and financing at the point of sale. This could pave the way for Remitly to foster fruitful partnerships with other entities.

Other notable investors in the company include QED, TomorrowVentures, IFC, Bezos Expeditions and Trilogy.

About Jermaine Wright