TransferWise, Skype Veteran’s Fast-Growing UK Financial Services Startup, Establishes First U.S. Offices in Tampa
November 12, 2015
TAMPA, Fla. – (Nov. 12, 2015) – Backed by a pantheon of high-profile technology investors including Sir Richard Branson, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, and storied Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, London-based TransferWise has been making waves in Europe’s financial technology, or ‘fintech’ world, since its launch in 2011. The international money transfer startup, co-founded by Skype’s first employee, Taavet Hinrikus, and Kristo Käärmann, helps people transfer money across borders at a fraction of the fees banks charge. The two have raised more than $90 million from investors and won prestigious accolades ranging from the Financial Times’ 2014 Boldness in Business Award to the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneer Award.
Today, TransferWise announced that it has established its Americas Operations Center at 4012 Gunn Highway in Tampa, its first U.S. location. The company has already hired close to 50 employees and plans to hire up to 250 within the next three years.
“Locating our operations and service center in Tampa was an easy decision for us. TransferWise is all about our customers and giving them an incredible experience and service. Unlike the banks we don’t just say that, we truly mean it, and there’s just something about Tampa that gives us access to great people who feel the same way,” said Joe Cross, US General Manager at TransferWise. “We’re grateful for all the support we received setting up here and I’m excited about the team that we are growing in Tampa.”
Enterprise Florida and the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation assisted TransferWise with the establishment of its Tampa location. CareerSource Tampa Bay will assist the company with workforce recruiting, screening, and on-the-job training services for its customer support and compliance operations here.
“We’re very pleased that TransferWise has selected Florida for its first U.S. presence,” said Bill Johnson, president and CEO of Enterprise Florida. “We will continue to make Florida not only the best state, but the best place in the world for business.”
“As TransferWise’s selection of Tampa shows, our city’s reputation as an ideal location for innovative financial technology companies is spreading across the globe,” said Mayor Bob Buckhorn, City of Tampa. “We couldn’t be more pleased to have them join our business community and are confident that they will thrive here.”
“TransferWise is an exciting new addition to our business community and an inspiration for local startups and established firms alike,” said Colleen Chappell, Chair of the Tampa Hillsborough EDC and CEO of ChappellRoberts. “Their successful model and disruption of the financial technology industry is a case study for aspiring entrepreneurs. We welcome them to Tampa and Hillsborough County and look forward to supporting them as they set down roots and grow.”
TransferWise is the international money transfer platform based on peer-to-peer technology. Launched in 2011, it is one of the UK’s most successful fintech startups, having raised $91 million in funding from investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Sir Richard Branson, Peter Thiel and Max Levchin, the co-founders of PayPal.
Co-founded by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, the company was created out of frustration with the high fees charged by banks on international money transfer. TransferWise uses the mid-market rate – without the hidden mark-up fees – making it up to 10 times cheaper to send money abroad compared to using a bank.
Over $750 million is transferred across the globe every month using the TransferWise platform, saving customers more than $34 million every month. TransferWise is working to make the world a tiny bit better by helping to make the financial system fair.
About the Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation
The Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation is the lead designated economic development agency for Hillsborough County and the cities of Tampa, Plant City and Temple Terrace. A partnership between the public sector and private corporate investors, the EDC works to develop and sustain a thriving local economy through the attraction, retention and expansion of high-wage jobs and capital investment and provides customized, confidential relocation services to domestic and international companies interested in growing within Hillsborough County. Locally, the EDC helps existing businesses access the tools and resources they need to succeed.
The Tampa Hillsborough Economic Development Corporation exists because of the generous support of over 100 corporations, Hillsborough County, and the cities of Tampa, Plant City and Temple Terrace.