This London firm was founded in 2010 by Taavet Hinrikus, 35, who was Skype’s first employee, and fellow Estonian Kristo Käärmann, 36, who were frustrated by high fees charged to send money abroad. TransferWise’s peer-to-peer platform bypasses the traditional international bank payments system to match customers with the opposite currency. It says it now handles more than £800m each month, and says its faster, more transparent system has helped it secure an 8% share of the UK market. Buoyed by “evangelical” customer recommendations, TransferWise now has over a million customers and offers more than 650 currency routes, sending money from 55 countries. It has been valued at more than $1bn after raising $117m from high profile backers, including Andreessen Horowitz and Sir Richard Branson.
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