Remitly, the Seattle online money transfer startup, has reeled in $2.6 million in fresh capital in a deal led by Trilogy Equity Partnership. The company, a TechStars Seattle grad formerly known as Beamit Mobile, has raised a total of $5.1 million.
“We’re excited about Trilogy’s international, operational, and mobile expertise,” said Matt Oppenheimer, Remitly co-founder and CEO. “They share our vision to enable a faster, less expensive and more convenient way for sending money across borders.”
Remitly costs as low as $2.99 for money transfers up to $1,500, drastically lower than many competing services.
Trilogy is the venture capital firm operated by wireless executive John Stanton, best known as the former CEO of Voicestream and Western Wireless. His firm also is involved in Trilogy International Partners, a company that delivers wireless service in emerging countries such as Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Bolivia.
Other investors in the company include Bezos Expeditions, the venture arm of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and TomorrowVentures, the venture arm of Google chairman Eric Schmidt. Angel investors such as Isilon co-founder Sujal Patel; Founder’s Co-op’s Chris DeVore and Qpass co-founder Chase Franklin also are backing the company.
In addition to the new funding, Remitly also announced that its money transfer service is now available in sixteen states. The startup is currently focusing its marketing efforts on those who send money from the U.S. to the Philippines. According to the World Bank, over $350 billion is transferred from developed to developing countries each year, with Oppenheimer saying that they will use the funds for continued expansion and to “disrupt the global remittance market.”
Oppenheimer started Beamit in Boise, Idaho, but relocated the company to Seattle after getting accepted into TechStars last year. He came up with the idea while overseeing mobile and Internet banking for Barclays Bank Kenya, helping them implement a new mobile banking strategy.
During his time in Kenya, Oppenheimer said he discovered just how challenging it was to receive money transfers.
“I got to know a family that lived in one of the slums in Nairobi and if there was an easy way to transfer money back to that family to put that kid through school, I’d do it,” Oppenheimer told GeekWire earlier this year. “But the problem is that the recipient doesn’t have a bank account, and they don’t need that much money, so the fees make it cost prohibitive.”