London-based payments startup TransferWise is now valued at $5bn following a secondary share sale in a further sign of the increased excitement about online payments startups amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The fintech on Wednesday said that it had completed a $319m secondary share sale led by new investor D1 Capital Partners and existing shareholder Lone Pine Capital. Existing shareholders Baillie Gifford, Fidelity International and LocalGlobe all increased their holdings in the company. Shares were sold by employees and some existing shareholders.

The $5bn valuation for the profitable fintech is a big jump from the $3.5bn valuation TransferWise achieved last year. But is it still not quite as valuable as Revolut, Checkout.com and Klarna which are all valued at $5.5bn.

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“We’ve been funded exclusively by our customers for the last few years and we didn’t need to raise external funding for the company,” said cofounder and current CEO Kristo Käärmann in a statement. “This secondary round provides an opportunity for new investors to come in, alongside rewarding the investors and employees who’ve helped us succeed so far”.

Founded in 2011, TransferWise has been hugely successful undercutting the fees charged by the big banks to send money abroad. TransferWise charges less than 1% on many currency transfers, compared to what the World Bank estimates is an industry average of more than 7%. There are now more than 8m people using TransferWise, moving over £4bn a month.

It’s not the first time existing investors have sold shares — the company was valued at $3.5bn last year as part of a $292m secondary round. At the time, Sifted reported that there were more than 150 employees who were paper millionaires at the company.

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mjlcapdagde
mjlcapdagde

Undercutting was the bait, now for the switch. Watch as the 1% fees ‘change’ not into a unicorn or a hamburger, but to relentlessly and progressively higher-than-1% fees once market share has been locked in, until parity with other competitors’ fees has been reached.