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UK tech unicorn TransferWise expands to Singapore

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TransferWise, a London-based FinTech startup, has announced the opening of an office in Singapore to serve the Asia-Pacific region.

The firm, which has received backing from high profile investment firms including Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz, will allow customers in the country to send money overseas.

The tech unicorn, which has received $116.37m in funding, claims to transfer $1.2bn for customers every month.

TransferWise, WorldRemit and Currencycloud: How UK startups are shaking up the remittance market

Co-founded by Hinrikus and Kristo Kaarmann after they became increasingly frustrated with the fees charged by mainstream banks for international money transfers, TransferWise is also seeking to start serving customers in Hong Kong this year.

Taavet Hinrikus, CEO and co-founder, TransferWise said: “It made perfect sense for TransferWise to choose Singapore as our APAC hub. The region is important for us as we expand globally, bringing our service to everyone in the world that transfers money internationally.

“Singapore is the perfect location to grow our team here. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have demonstrated their commitment to making Singapore a place where FinTech companies can flourish and we’re excited to be part of that.”

FinTech in Singapore

Despite London widely being considered as the FinTech capital of the world, Singapore has been trying to promote itself as a hub for financial technology companies in recent times.

Last year, HM Treasury announced a ‘FinTech Bridge’, to help UK FinTech companies and investors access the Asian market by expanding to Singapore.

As part of the initiative, the Treasury said it would also seek to attract Singapore-based financial technology firms and investors to the UK.

Other UK firms which have expanded to Singapore include TravelTech firm Triptease and Manchester-based FinTech firm HelloSoda.

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