- TitleCEO and cofounder
Kristo Käärmann cofounded TransferWise with fellow Estonian-in-London transplant Taavet Hinrikus, the first employee at Skype, after realizing how much money financial firms make on cross-border money transfers. With a relentless fee-cutting approach, the nine-year-old firm has risen to become one of the highest valued private fintech startups in Europe. After a new round of fundraising in May, investors pegged the company’s worth at $3.5 billion. The numbers speak for themselves: Whereas the global average cost of ferrying $200 internationally was 7% in the first quarter of the year, as measured by the World Bank, TransferWise on average charged just 1%. (For any sum sent abroad during that period, Transferwise’s average fee was even lower: 0.63%.) The operation has 5 million customers and moves $5 billion every month.
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