FinTech
FinTech. Jirsak / Shutterstock.com

FinTech startup Remitly has raised $85 million (R1.4 billion ) at a $1.5 billion (R24.7 billion) valuation in a funding round led by existing investor Prosus’s PayU.

The funding will enable Remitly to expand its suite of financial services products and digital solutions as the global demand for digital remittances continues to surge during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Returning investor Prosus’s PayU led the round at a $1.5 billion valuation. They were joined by returning partners DN Capital, Generation Investment Management, Owl Rock Capital, Princeville, Stripes, Threshold Ventures, and Top Tier.

“As the current health crisis continues to devastate the global economy and disproportionately impact developing countries around the world, 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.”

Remitly has established itself as a rival to old-school providers such as MoneyGram and Western Union in the multi-billion-dollar global remittance market.

While global remittances are projected to decline by 20% in 2020 due to the economic crisis, Remitly has seen 200% new customer growth year-over-year. 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. As a result, they’re shifting to digital solutions to continue sending money to 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 in years to come.”

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