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London fintech start-up scoops £24m investment from Accel Partners

WorldRemit is an online money-transfer service for migrants and expats

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WorldRemit, an online money-transfer service that lets people send funds across the globe, has raised $40 million (£24 million) from venture capital (VC) firm Accel Partners. 

Founded in 2009 at London Business School, WorldRemit allows migrants and expats from 34 countries to make online payments to families and friends in over 100 destinations.

In addition to cutting costs by eliminating the branch networks of traditional operators such as Western Union and MoneyGram, WorldRemit claims that its account-to-account transfers reduce the money laundering risks linked to handling cash.

Accel's investment, which represents one of the largest Series A venture capital funding rounds completed in Europe, will be used to expand WorldRemit beyond the 34 markets it currently operates in and support the development of additional products and services. 

The VC, who has $8.8 billion (£5.3 billion) under management and has backed the likes of Facebook and Dropbox, is the first institutional investor in the Kensington-headquartered company, which previously raised $7.5 million (£4.5 million) from individuals, according to WorldRemit CEO Ismail Ahmed.  

Ahmed, who previously helped the UN crack down on money laundering among East African money transfer firms, said he expects the online money-transfer sector to account for approximately 30 percent of the remittance market in the next few years.

Harry Nelis, a partner at Accel Partners who will join the WorldRemit board, said: "We are excited to be partnering with a team with the deep industry expertise that has enabled them to build the robust technology and strong compliance needed for a secure, trusted and world-class remittance business."



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