Thursday, 11 April 2013

Transferwise - Making Startups truly International

Start-ups, by their very nature, are international businesses. Many start-ups have employees living and working in different countries, collaborating remotely and building ideas for businesses that make a difference from the ground up. This is especially true for tech start-ups, who often have developers working everywhere from the US to Europe to India. 

One of the biggest problems they face is high costs of sending and receiving money overseas for individuals or businesses. High charges early in a company’s life can stop it ever getting off the ground. One start-up combating this issue is Transferwise. They are dramatically lowering the cost of transferring money overseas, by effectively matching people and companies in different countries who want the opposite currency.

As TransferWise founders Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, who have previous experience at Skype and PayPal, noted on their website: "We use real exchange rates to help expats, foreign students and businesses wire money securely, conveniently, and at a very low cost. Finally, a financial service built for people, not banks."

Now TransferWise is running a campaign to help start-ups make their businesses truly international. They are giving away $100m of foreign transfers for free, with no transaction charges. Every start-up can get $100k to pay their overseas employees, pay their suppliers or get money from investors. They added: “We're a start-up of two years old, we've had to go through the hard way of growing our biz and we want to help other start-ups."

This innovative idea for shaking up the financial services sector while helping start-ups in a practical way has caught the eye of many new businesses already – as well as established brands like Virgin. Head over to the website to find out more and apply.

What other businesses have you came across that are helping to boost start-ups and make international business easier?