Remitly, a mobile payments company that helps people send money to the Philippines and India, announced today that it has acquired Talio, a mobile messaging company that lets users send moving selfie photos.
Backed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and others, Remitly will tap into Talio’s employee base to help connect customers using its overseas payment systems. Talio co-founders Piragash Velummylum and Jordan Timmermann, both former Amazon employees, will remain at Remitly, even though he messaging service they created will be phased out.
“Talio’s experience in new forms of mobile messaging – including immersive images and videos – was very attractive to us,” Remitly CEO Matt Oppenheimer tells GeekWire. While the Talio app won’t be integrated into Remitly, Oppenheimer said that Talio’s team of less than 10 will help Remitly “explore new ways to create amazing connections between customers.”
Customers are using Remitly to send more than $300 million annually.
By cutting out the need for forms, codes, agents, and other fees associated with money transfers overseas, the company says it has been able to reduce the fees that people pay. Originally, Remitly payments could be sent only to the Philippines, but the company added more than 120 Indian banks to its system earlier this year.
Remitly has been growing its payment system since it got $12.5 million in funding in March from DFJ, DN Capital and others. Remitly will now employ more than 50 people in the Seattle area.
Oppenheimer said they will “communicate plans to customers that use Talio’s app separately.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it appears to be a stock deal since Talio’s original investors — including Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff, former Expedia CEO Erik Blachford, former Facebook COO Owen Van Natta, Vulcan Capital and Seattle entrepreneur Rudy Gadre — are now shareholders of Remitly.
Oppenheimer declined to say what percentage Talio’s shareholders now own of Remitly.
Both Talio and Remitly are graduates of the Techstars Seattle program.
Talio, then known as Wire Labs and attempting to take on Snapchat, graduated from the program in 2013, going on to raise $1.8 million in seed financing from more than 30 investors.
Remitly, formerly known as Beamit Mobile, graduated from Techstars Seattle in 2011.