Wyre Raises $5.8M Series-A
International Bank Transfers. As Fast as Email.
By Michael Dunworth
👋 Today, I’m excited to publicly launch Wyre!
When we started in early 2013, we quickly realized that blockchain technologies could really help accelerate the way that money moves around the world.
Truthfully speaking, I couldn’t have really told you what the end answer was, but I honestly believed (and still believe) that we all knew that applications built on top of distributed ledgers would be the next wave of disruption to the banking and payments industry.
We’ve been extremely fortunate to have observed the industry grow and evolve each passing day. As many would say, it’s never a dull moment when you’re living and breathing payments! Our team has been described as being lean, scrappy, and highly adaptable- the epitome of a cockroach company.
I believe that this mentality and team dynamic is the reason why Wyre is now moving over 90% of all cross-border remittance funds through the blockchain — more than any company in the industry.
Today, we’re also proud to announce an additional $5.8M in Series-A financing lead by Amphora Capital and 9FBank. Their strategic investment into our technology will help shape how money is moved in Asia. We’re happy to have continued support from Draper Associates, Boost VC, Digital Currency Group and Seabed VC.
Our goal has been very straight forward since we started participating in the space… how can we leverage blockchains to accelerate payments with realistic and transparent commercial intent? Simply put, how do we make payments as fast as e-mail while making it commercially viable? I’ll save you the trouble by omitting all of our product iterations, and go straight to the beta that we launched… Masspay, which is now the entire Wyre brand 💪🏼
Challenges with Cross-Border Payments
Cross-border payments are intrinsically inefficient because there is not one single ubiquitous global payment system. We stumbled upon these issues in 2014 as we expanded our blockchain wallet services into various regions and polities. Most domestic financial infrastructures are not designed to handle cross-border payments.
For example, the ACH Network, the bank transfer standard in the USA, does not communicate to SEPA, in the EURO Zone. End users (businesses, individuals, institutions) are then forced to use limited international networks (SWIFT) that are expensive and riddled with hidden fees from the 3–5 (sometimes more) banks that need to be involved to actually complete a payment. Joining these international messaging networks is extremely costly and typically only available to larger Financial Institutions. On top of that, every region is faced with varying regulatory requirements making it extremely difficult to streamline the process.
At the end of the day, what this means to businesses and people that are looking to move money is that you’re going to end up paying an extremely high payment fee and then pay an consequently expensive foreign exchange rate (hidden fees).
How does Wyre Help?
Wyre has created a money transfer engine powered by blockchain technologies to help make your bank transfers faster than email (sounds super buzz-wordy, I know… it’s an inside joke here at Wyre at the moment).
With one integration, businesses are able to send bank-to-bank international transfers at the speed of a local bank transfer. We’ve connected local banking networks to a single unified API and we’re utilizing the blockchain to move the absolute value. This is still Phase 1, but at the moment, with the power of our technology, we’re able to move US Dollars from your bank account in the US, to a bank account for a beneficiary in China in under 1 hour… a process that traditionally takes 2–3 days.
Over the last year, we’ve on boarded some of the most innovative companies to the Wyre Payments API and they have battle-tested many features with us. Companies like RationalFX (based out of the United Kingdom helping businesses move money all over the world), Haitou360 (a tech-focused asset investment company based out of Beijing), and TangoCard (the largest digital rewards company in the world). We’d like to thank all our beta users for their feedback as we’ve rolled out and polished our product.
Where to from Here?
Wyre is the handshake mechanism between the Blockchain and money transfer businesses. Our goal is not to be a new sexy consumer application for sending/receiving money, our goal is to be the plumbing for companies that have spent many years establishing brands and user-bases online.
- Q4/2016 — Announce ourselves to the community (today!)
- Q1 + Q2/2017 — Expand our current corridors. China, Brazil, USA are streamlined, with solid market penetration, and comfortable solutions humming.
- Q3 + Q4/2017 — Implementation of our new markets that are to follow. This will be a mix of both customer demand, customer presence, technical and compliance feasibility.
- 2018 Onwards — We’re on a mission. Piece by piece, we’ll connect the worlds local geographies together through the Blockchain, and bank transfers as fast as email. It’s time for value to get the same speed of transmission as content.
This is just the beginning and we’re looking forward to seeing what these and future companies will build on the new infrastructure we’re bringing to the payments industry.
And if you have any questions or feedback, just drop me a line.
CEO, Co-founder of Wyre
Oh, and of course, we’re hiring all over the place… please see our jobs page on AngelList to get all of the deets.