In the evolving world of fintechs, the mature ones (10+ years in business) have been transitioning in a number of ways, expanding their scope and business models to meet the ever-changing spectrum of opportunities presented by technology and market attitudes.
The London-based fintech called Transferwise, known for their cross-border model that started in the consumer space and expanded to business use cases, has decided that they will shorten the name to ‘Wise,’ obviously distancing themselves from the money transfer-only identity as they prepare for an expected IPO. The company has taken in more than a billion dollars in funding during the course of the decade and apparently has a valuation in the range of $5 billion, according to this piece posted in TechCrunch.
‘Of course, the company doesn’t actually make reference to a public listing — for regulatory reasons, it probably shouldn’t even if it wanted to — but the change of name will certainly make for a more streamlined ticker, while more broadly, the new moniker reflects how the decade-old company has long moved beyond B2C international money transfers alone to build what it now dubs a “cross-border payments network”….“Originally launched in 2011 as a money transfer service for people, the company has expanded to build a cross-border payments network helping to make international banking cheaper, faster and more pleasant for its 10 million personal and business customers,” explains Wise.’
We recently released a report on the B2B cross-border space, which is the primary driver of international funds transfers for goods and services. It is expected to continue its growth trajectory, fueled in part by the e-commerce market, which in turn has been a greater focus since the pandemic arrived. The B2B aspect of the business is more around multi-use accounts, although the company is not expected to file for a banking license, using chartered bank partners instead. So the new name is expected to be fully in place by end of March.
‘Cue quote from Kristo Käärmann, CEO and co-founder, of Wise: “Today our name catches up with who we’re already building for – a community of people and businesses with multi-currency lives. That community now even includes the banks themselves. We’ve evolved to fix more than just money transfer, but the core experience of using Wise will remain faster, cheaper, and more convenient than anything else. Our mission remains the same. We’re still making — and always will be making — money work without borders.” ‘
Overview by Steve Murphy, Director, Commercial and Enterprise Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group