Founder Fireside Chat - Taavet Hinrikus, TransferWise
Thursday, 5 December 2013 from 18:30 to 21:00 (GMT)
San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
TechHub & Oxygen Accelerator are delighted to welcome Taavet to Google Campus to talk about the story behind the Silicon Roundabout success story and ex-TechHub member, TransferWise, the clever new way to transfer money between countries.
Taavet Hinrikus is co-founder of TransferWise, the international money transfer platform.
In the two years since it launched, the business has transferred over £250m worth of customer money and has attracted $7.35m from investors such as Peter Thiel and Max Levchin, co-founders of PayPal.
Prior to starting TransferWise, Taavet was Skype's director of strategy until 2008, starting as the firm's first-ever employee. He also helps the startup community as an advisor and angel investor. His investments include Tweetdeck, Mendeley, OMGPOP, Betaworks, Farmeron and Teleportd among others.
At TransferWise, Taavet looks after marketing and product development.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/taavet (@taavet)
International money transfers are more expensive than meets the eye - even when banks and brokers claim there are ‘no fees’. Many banks take as much as 5 percent of the money being sent. TransferWise is the clever new alternative that allows people to transfer money abroad at a lower cost than ever before. It uses technology developed by the people who built Skype and PayPal to remove all the fees the foreign exchange industry has kept hidden for decades. Customers have already moved more than £250m using the platform - an approach that has put over £10m back in their pockets.
How did TransferWise get started?
Estonian friends Taavet and Kristo came up with the idea for building the platform when they first became expats in London and were confronted by the high fees banks charge to transfer money abroad. Taavet had worked for Skype in Estonia, so was paid in euros, but lived in London. Kristo worked in London, but had a mortgage in euros back in Estonia.
They realised they each needed the currency the other had, so they devised a simple plan: every month Kristo put pounds in Taavet’s British bank account and Taavet put euros in Kristo’s euro account. They used the official mid-market rate exchange rate (that’s the one in the papers, not the one invented by the bank). They both received the right amount of money, and neither paid any bank fees.
Within a few months they’d saved thousands of pounds and realised there were probably millions of others that needed a system just like theirs. So they set to work - the rest is TransferWise.
Come and hear the story behind the success, with a fireside chat with Taavet followed by Q&A over a couple of beers.
When & Where
Oxygen Accelerator & TechHub
Oxygen Accelerator is a three month investment and mentoring programme for early-stage tech startups. We are currently running our 2013 programme from Google Campus.
TechHub is a global community, offering flexible workspace and events for tech entrepreneurs & startups. Currently in London, Manchester, Swansea, Riga, Bucharest and now Berlin.