TransferWise doubles annual profit, adds millions of customers

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) – TransferWise said annual profit more than doubled as it attracted millions of new customers with an expansion of its money-transfer business around the world.

Pretax profit for the year ended March 31 rose to £20.4 million (S$35.5 million) from £10.1 million a year earlier, the London-based start-up said in an annual report. A surge in cross-border transactions drove a 70 per cent increase in revenue to £302.6 million, chief financial officer Matt Briers said. About 26 per cent of revenue came from the U.S., up from 25 per cent from a year ago.

TransferWise, which says it can move money at a lower cost than banks and traditional transfer services, said its customer base grew to seven million as of March 31 from five million a year earlier – and jumped to eight million in recent months amid the pandemic.

“If there is a tailwind from Covid, it’s just the shift from the status quo of banks to trying a new tech-based service,” Mr Briers said. “The barriers to doing that have definitely dropped.”

The closely held firm initially saw transfer volumes fluctuate as foreign-exchange rates changed during the pandemic, before volume stabilized, Briers said. TransferWise is valued at US$5 billion (S$6.8 billion) based on a secondary share sale in July, it said in a statement.

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