The London-based money transfer startup WorldRemit is preparing to raise cash at a valuation of roughly $5 billion ahead of a potential initial public offering (IPO).
As Bloomberg News reported Friday (August 20), the company is in discussion with investors about the funding. Sources told Bloomberg details of the deal could change and that the IPO could come as soon as 2022, although the company had considered going public earlier this year.
WorldRemit was created in 2010, borne out of founder Ismail Ahmed’s frustration with the steep transaction fees he’d pay to send money to his family in East Africa, Bloomberg said.
Last August, the company purchased the Africa-focused remittance app Sendwave in a deal that valued the two firms at $1.5 billion.
The following month, WorldRemit launched the WorldRemit Transfer Tracker mobile app in 90 countries, designed to help recipients track their remittances.
The app comes with a “track my money” feature, made with the 1.7 billion people worldwide who don’t have access to a bank account or an account with mobile money providers, or who rely on cash pick-up agents.
According to the company website, WorldRemit boasts more than 5.7 million customers across 70 currencies and 130 countries. Past investors include Accel, TCV, Project A and LeapFrog Investments.
As Bloomberg noted, companies that help move funds internationally have become attractive to investors as the demand for digital banking rose during the COVID pandemic.
A report from the World Bank found that remittance flows stayed strong in 2020 even in light of the virus, dipping just 1.6 percent in low-income and middle-income nations.