London startup TransferWise leads underwear protest in New York

Spectacle designed to highlighting lack of transparency in US banking practices

London fintech startup TransferWise has led a naked protest through New York’s financial district to signal its intentions to disrupt the US banking sector’s least transparent practices.

The money transfer business is launching in the US after raising $58 million in an Andreessen Horowit-led Series C funding round. It claims to have the public’s interests at heart by removing hidden fees it says the banks place in money transfers.

TransferWise was formed in 2011 when Estonian friends Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann set out to disrupt the money transfer industry. To date around £3 billion has been transferred via the transfer. The company employs around 250 people and is seeing average growth of 15 to 20 percent per month.

The founders joined more than 200 protesters on one of the coldest days of the year in New York.

Hinrikus said the purpose of the march was to show the US banking industry that the company is “here to disrupt a banking system that isn’t offering transparent or fair services a lot of the time”.

“In the age of the sharing economy and game-changing services like Uber and AirBnb no industry should feel safe from disruption, least of all financial services. People shouldn’t get ripped off, they deserve low fees, clear pricing and a fair deal,” he continued.

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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