WorldRemit Is Raising Funds at $5 Billion Valuation

Money transfer startup WorldRemit Ltd. is seeking to raise cash at a valuation of about $5 billion ahead of a potential initial public offering, people familiar with the matter said.

The London-based company is in talks with investors about a funding round, though the deal hasn’t been finalized and terms may still change, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing confidential information. The IPO could come as soon as 2022, they said.

A representative for WorldRemit declined to comment.

The cross-border digital payments service was created in 2010, inspired by founder Ismail Ahmed’s frustration at the high transaction fees other services charged to send money to his family in East Africa. Last August, WorldRemit bought Africa-focused remittance app Sendwave in a $500 million deal that valued the combined companies at more than $1.5 billion, Bloomberg News reported.

The company had earlier considered a market debut this year, people familiar with the matter said previously.

WorldRemit now has more than 5.7 million customers across 70 currencies and 130 countries, according to the company’s website. It has raised money from investors including Accel, TCV, Project A and LeapFrog Investments.

Companies that make it easier to move funds internationally, such as the U.K.’s Wise Plc, have been attractive to investors as the global pandemic intensified demand for digital banking. A World Bank report found that remittance flows remained strong last year despite the coronavirus outbreak, dropping just 1.6% in low- and middle-income countries.

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LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Zepz, formerly WorldRemit, a digital cross-border payments platform operating two market-leading brands (WorldRemit and Sendwave, acquired in 2021), with over 11 million users1 across 150 countries, today announces it has raised $292 million in new primary financing, achieving a valuation of $5 billion.

The round includes new equity investors Farallon Capital among others, as well as backing from existing investors Leapfrog, TCV and Accel.

Zepz is revolutionizing the P2P cross-border payments market, an estimated $1tn market opportunity which continues to be predominantly offline and is characterised by high prices and poor customer experience.

Zepz reaches over 5,000 money transfer corridors, including emerging markets with high barriers to entry, establishing digital connectivity into geographies that had previously been underserved. WorldRemit and Sendwave brands offer a faster (85% of transactions settled in minutes) and more flexible (digital offering with multiple pay-in and pay-out options) user experience at fairer prices. This superior value proposition has enabled multi-year customer engagement on its platform - most users transact in a frequent, habitual manner - with Zepz’ average customer transacting c.4x per month on the platform.

The funding round will allow Zepz to continue to invest in its technology, platform and customer proposition. Zepz sees significant growth opportunities both in its existing markets by driving engagement and deeper market penetration, as well as expanding into new markets and further extending its platform to offer additional value-added services to its users.

Breon Corcoran, CEO of Zepz said:

“Today’s announced raise is another important step in the execution of our strategy. Following the acquisition of Sendwave we have made significant progress with the integration of the different businesses and are retaining both the Sendwave and WorldRemit brands. In that context we are proud to announce the rebranding of our holding Company to Zepz. The additional funds raised enable us to accelerate investment to prosecute our very sizeable growth opportunity whilst further strengthening our high-quality investor base and our mission to provide fair, fast, flexible payments for our customers.”

In 2020, Zepz’ brands enabled over 4.5m monthly transactions on its platform generating almost $10bn of Gross Send Volumes and $338m of revenues.

About Zepz:

Zepz is powering two leading global payments brands: WorldRemit and Sendwave. We represent brands that disrupted an industry previously dominated by offline legacy players by taking international money transfers online - making global digital payments fairer, faster, and more flexible. Our brands currently send from 50 to 130 countries, operate in more than 5,000 money transfer corridors worldwide and employ around 1,500 people globally.

On the sending side our brands are 100% digital (cashless), increasing convenience and enhancing security. For those receiving money, our brands offer a wide range of options including bank deposit, cash collection, mobile airtime top-up and mobile money.

Zepz’ headquarters are in London, United Kingdom with regional offices in the United States, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Africa, Somaliland, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Belgium.