Money transfer startup Remitly reveals financial results in preparation for upcoming IPO

Left to right: Remitly co-founders Josh Hug, Matt Oppenheimer and Shivash Gulati. (Remitly Photo)

Seattle-based money remittance company Remitly disclosed key financial results on Monday afternoon in its Form S-1 registration statement, a key milestone toward becoming a publicly traded company.

Remitly generated $257 million in revenue and a $32.5 million net loss in 2020, doubling its annual revenue and cutting its loss nearly in half.

The trends have continued since then, with the company posting $202 million in revenue and a $9.2 million net loss in the first six months of this year.

Remitly first signaled its IPO plans in June and is going public the old-fashioned way, offering an initial public offering of its shares. Many other companies that have gone public in the past year through mergers with special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs.

Remitly’s last valuation was $1.5 billion in July when it raised an $85 million investment round. It’s one of a handful of Seattle-area tech startups valued at more than $1 billion.

Founded in 2011, Remitly’s mobile technology lets people send and receive money across borders, including immigrants in the U.S. and U.K. who support families back home in countries such as the Philippines, India, El Salvador, and others. The service eliminates forms, codes, agents, and other fees typically associated with the international money transfer process dominated by Western Union, MoneyGram, and other longstanding providers.

Remitly ranks No. 10 among the top 10 most-downloaded peer-to-peer payment apps worldwide, according to eMarketer. The company reported a “send volume” of approximately $16.1 billion for the 12 months ended June 30.

Remitly competes against a number of other cross-border money transfer companies, including Wise (formerly TransferWise), which was valued at $11 billion after going public via direct listing in July, and Zepz (previously WorldRemit), which raised $292 million in a Series E funding last week.

The investor interest in these companies reflects the growth opportunity for digital remittances. Remitly said the market for global money transfers was estimated at $1.5 trillion in 2020. It said its business and the digital financial services industry as a whole has accelerated as a result of the pandemic.

Remitly CEO Matt Oppenheimer helped come up with the idea for Remitly while working for Barclays Bank in Kenya. He founded the company in 2011 with Josh Hug and Shivaas Gulati; the original name for the startup was Beamit Mobile.

The company’s largest shareholder is Prosus’ PayU with a 23.9% stake, followed by Stripes (12.1%) and Threshold Ventures (9.4%). Seattle-area firm Trilogy Equity Partners has a 6.2% share. Oppenheimer has a 4.8% stake, while Hug has 3.1%.

Remitly, ranked No. 3 on the Mekhato 200 list of top Pacific Northwest tech startups, has around 1,600 employees across its Seattle HQ and six other offices in Spokane, Wash., London, Cork, Krakow, Manila, and Managua.

It will trade under the ticker “RELY” on the Nasdaq.

The company earlier this month inked a deal with Los Angeles Football Club, becoming the MLS team’s exclusive global money transfer partner.

Other Washington state companies to go public this year include Eliem Therapeutics; Absci; Icosavax; Sana Biotechnology, Impel Neuropharma; and Paymentus. Nautilus Biotechnology and Rover went public via SPAC deals.

Mekhato reporter Todd Bishop contributed to this story. 

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