As the emergence of smart phones and online services make cross-border remittances easier and less costly for users, companies have emerged to serve that fast-growing market. The latest move comes from WorldRemit, an 8-year-old firm that last week expanded into the state of New York, home to 4.5 million immigrants. London-based WorldRemit maintains a U.S. headquarters with its WorldRemit Corp. unit, based in Denver.
The company clearly sees the move as a play for rapid growth. The U.S. accounts for 15% of WorldRemit’s revenue worldwide, and with the move into New York it sees that portion growing to 40% “in the next few years,” according to a news release. The U.S. is already generating 200% annual growth in send volume, WorldRemit says, without citing a specific figure. As for New York, 20% of residents are immigrants, while another one in six residents is a native with at least one immigrant parent, according to figures cited by the company.
“New York is truly a melting pot of people and cultures and we are pleased that we can now bring the benefits of our lower-cost, convenient service to all the diverse communities of New York,” Ismail Ahmed, founder and chief executive, said in a statement.
WorldRemit claims to handle 75% of all cross-border remittances sent to so-called mobile money accounts, or accounts accessed via mobile-phone numbers. With the international person-to-person payment service, users can send money to recipients in 147 countries, the company says.
Newer digital remittance processors, a group that includes TransferWise, Remitly, and PayPal Holdings Inc.’s Xoom, as well as WorldRemit, will grow their collective share of transactions to 12% this year from 2.5% in 2015, according to findings released Monday by Juniper Research.
In its latest of nine funding rounds, WorldRemit raised $40 million in a Series C round in December led by Leapfrog Investments. All told, the company has raised $232.7 million since 2010, according to Crunchbase.