Remitly CEO Matt Oppenheimer to Join Bank Innovation Ignite

Matt Oppenheimer, CEO and co-founder of digital remittance company Remitly, will speak at Bank Innovation Ignite in Seattle in March 2019 on Building the Future of Banking.

His Seattle-based startup recently an expansion of its global reach to 40 countries as well as the roll-out of several service enhancements.

Remitly has grown to nearly 800 employees worldwide and says it has served one million customers to date. Its annualized send volume is $6 billion, up from $3 billion in 2017 and $1 billion in 2016.

The company now operates in 15 send countries, up from just three last year, and allows remittances to be sent from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The 26 send-to-receive corridors it was operating in last year has ballooned to nearly 600 such corridors.

The company is backed by investors including World Bank’s International Finance Corporation, Nasper’s PayU, Silicon Valley Bank, QED Investors, Bezos Expeditions, and Founders’ Co-Op. It raised $115 million in a Series D funding late last year in a round led by PayU.

Meanwhile, the global remittances market is heating up. TransferGo, a London-based international money transfer service, last week announced it raised $17.5 million in a Series B round of funding led by Hard Yaka and Vostok Emerging Finance.

Also see: Major Moves from Plaid, Remitly and Good Money

Oppenheimer, in an email interview with Bank Innovation, outlined how the company got to where it is and offered a glimpse into where it’s headed.

Bank Innovation: What prompted this expansion and these service enhancements? What do these moves mean for the company and its customers?

Matt Oppenheimer: We’re sending $6 billion annually through our platform and the remittance industry is nearly a $600 billion industry, so we’re just getting started. Remitly has always focused on the largest remittance corridors in need of a better way to send money.

The remittance industry is divided into two segments, the segment of money flows from developed to developing nations (e.g. money sent between the U.S. and Europe, intra-Europe, etc.) and the segment of money flows from developed to developed nations (e.g. the money sent from the U.S. to markets like the Philippines, Mexico, etc.). The developed to developing segment is about 75% of the total industry and that’s the market Remitly has always focused on serving first.

As we’ve expanded into regions worldwide, we have learned a lot about our customers and their unique needs in each market. This has prompted us to develop enhancements to our service to better serve them. For example, Home Delivery is a preferred delivery method in countries like the Dominican Republic and Vietnam. In the Dominican Republic, it’s close to 50% of the total remittance volume of $5.6 billion. We built this capability into our service to meet the needs of customers who need their money delivered directly to their recipients’ homes in the Dominican Republic or Vietnam. Another example is mobile wallets. While we launched our first mobile wallet in Asia in 2011, mobile wallets are a more popular delivery method among countries in Africa. Specifically, in Kenya, we integrated with and launched M-Pesa, as it is the most popular way to receive remittances with millions of M-Pesa subscribers.

With immigrant communities at the center of our universe, we make it our highest priority to support their unique needs by providing the most trusted financial service on the planet. The expansion enables Remitly to reach more immigrant communities around the world in more geographies, providing new service enhancements that make the process of sending money internationally faster, easier, more transparent and less costly.

BI: Are these changes a result of Remitly’s $115 million round of funding announced last year?

MO: Our Series D funding last year helped us supercharge our growth so we can further work to improve cross-border transactions and offer fundamentally better financial services to immigrant communities.

BI: Any insight into what’s next on the company’s roadmap?

MO: We’ll continue our work to reach more immigrant communities around the world through expansion and evolve our product to better serve them in new and transformative ways. Customers can expect to see Remitly in more countries with more enhanced options that support their unique needs.

BI Ignite 2019

As part of the panel, Oppenheimer will discuss which fintechs have the potential to revolutionize financial services, what FIs are doing right (and wrong), as well as future technology trends that will affect financial services.

Bank Innovation Ignite will be held at the Hotel Olive8 in Seattle on March 11-12, 2019 and will feature startup demos as well as sessions on data-sharing in the era of open banking, wealth management in the AI age, and much more. Attendees will also have the chance to seek advice and insights from fintech experts at the Innovation Bar. Other companies speaking at the event include Wells Fargo, HSBC, and Fiserv.

To join us in Seattle, register here.

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