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London payment startup TransferWise secured $292m investment at a $3.5b valuation

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The London-based fintech startup TransferWise, focused on international money transfer service, disclosed last week a new $292 million secondary round at a valuation at $3.5 billion. That’s more than double the valuation TransferWise achieved in late 2017 at the time of its $280 million Series E round. The new secondly funding was led by growth capital investors Lead Edge Capital, Lone Pine Capital, and Vitruvian Partners

Given this valuation, TransferWise is with the N26 and Revolut among the highest valued fintech startups in Europe. N26 was last valued at $2.5 billion and Revolut at $1.7 billion. TransferWise says it serves 5 million customers worldwide, processing £4 billion every month. Unlike many of its fintech peers, the company recorded two straight years of profits, posting £6.2m in post-tax profits for its fiscal 2018 on £117m in revenue.

TransferWise co-founder and chairman Taavet Hinrikus told TechCrunch the round was oversubscribed.

The new millionaires

In the course of the new financing round, hundreds of employees sold their shares to the new investors and thus became millionaires. That’s what Sifted reports. According to Sifted, TransferWise’s $292m sale share was exclusively to allow early employees and investors to turn their shares into cash.

The company’s 1,600 employees collectively have around 2m vested options, according to last year’s company filings, which at the last valuation would be worth $250,000 per employee on average.

Existing TrasferWise investors Andreessen Horowitz and Baillie Gifford expanded their holdings in TransferWise, whilst investment was also provided from funds managed by BlackRock.

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