Thunes has secured over $60m in a Series C funding round led by London-based hedge fund Marshall Wace. Other backers include Bessemer Venture Partners and a newly raised Southeast Asian private equity firm 01Fintech.

Founded in 2016, Thunes aims to solve the problems of global inefficiencies in moving money internationally. The company is looking to create a next-generation payment system. Specifically, it wants to make payments instant, quick and secure, just like sending a text message.

Thunes goal: the WhatsApp of payments

Indeed, last year, CEO Peter De Caluwe told EPI that he wants payments to be like sending a WhatsApp message.

This means more opportunities for businesses and people around the world, allowing them to take advantage of international commerce.

De Caluwe, said: We want to challenge the status quo in global payments. Our ambition is to provide everyone – businesses, entrepreneurs or individuals – with access to cross-border money movement at high speed and with absolute efficiency. In today’s mobile-first world, digital wallets have revolutionised financial empowerment and rendered the traditional banking system obsolete. Thunes has already connected 3 billion wallet users in our network – almost half of the world’s population.

“With the backing of our current investors, reinforced by Marshall Wace, Bessemer and 01Fintech, we will be able to further scale our capabilities. We will launch new solutions, open new segments and make the network even more robust, resilient and efficient. We will deepen our presence in strategic markets, including China, Latin America, Middle East. This will enable a better payment experience for businesses and people around the world.”

Thunes mobile wallet network hits 3 billion accounts

Thunes has quadrupled its mobile wallet network from 720 million to 3 billion accounts since its Series B funding round.

It now connects 4 billion bank accounts across the globe. Thunes has now processed circa $50bn of transactions since inception. In addition, some 90% of Thunes’ transactions are instant.

Current clients include Visa, PayPal, Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Revolut and Finastra.

Since its Series B funding round in May 2021, Thunes has also acquired the European payment methods platform Limonetik. It also acquired AI-driven anti-money laundering and compliance outfit Tookitaki in April last year. The deals boost Thunes’ drive to help reduce the cost of transferring money across borders for customers.

Partnerships with Tencent, D360 Bank

In addition, in November 2022, the firm announced a strategic partnership with Tencent Financial Technology, Tencent’s fintech arm. The tie-up gives Thunes customers the ability to make fast and easy payments to the WeChat users. In April 2023, Thunes was granted a new Payments Institution licence by the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR) in France. This enables the company to send payments worldwide on behalf of its French or EU customers and partners.

And in May, Thunes announced a partnership with Saudi Arabian digital bank D360 Bank. This allows D360 Bank’s customers to make fast and secure cross-border remittances and B2B business payments, as well as to move money instantly to beneficiaries overseas using the D360 Bank’s app.