Can we still call peer to peer international money transfer service TransferWise a start-up? Not with any confidence now it has announced that it is moving beyond the "early adopter phase" to challenge the banks for the mainstream customer.
As part of this move TransferWise has redesigned itself from the ground up, overhauling its website, logos, mobile apps, and advertising. Despite its rapid growth and move to the mainstream, co-founder Taavet Hinrikus maintains the company is a start-up.
"We’re a fast growing company, now with 160 employees but I would still consider TransferWise a startup.," Hinrikus told EPI.
In April 2014 TransferWise hit the £1bn ($1.63bn) money moved milestone, great growth considering that in May of 2013 TransferWise had only just hit the £125m milestone (for comparison, competitor Small World FS had moved £10bn by the end of March 2014 and has been going since 2005).
Despite a move to the mainstream the company continues to base its marketing campaign around the disruption of the existing banking market, with its first ad featuring a smug banker strolling through his office, post-party, explaining how he makes a killing on transactions, before settling down to move some of his own money using TransferWise, declaring the party over due to TrasferWise.
Hinrikus said that the decision to stay with the image as an alternative to the traditional banks is a conscious one. "Mainstream customers will not be a harder sell than the people that currently use and benefit from our services. All financial services customers are just as interested in using services that save them money."
Hinrikus revealed that TransferWise is in talks with several banks within the UK and abroad to integrate its services.