TransferWise’s Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann: Everything You Need to Know

Who is TransferWise’s Co-Founder and CEO, Taavet Hinrikus?

  • Skype’s first employee
  • Worked at Halo Interactive DDB, Equitygate.com / Hanashi IFC, Joltid, and Skype
  • Formed TransferWise in 2010

 

Taavet Hinrikus

 

Since 1997, Taavet Hinrikus has been building internet businesses. Starting his journey at Halo Interactive DDB as a Senior Engineer, Taavet led the development team and site operations.

After 3 years, Hinrikus continued his journey as a Project Manager at Equitygate.com / Hanashi IFC. Here, Taavet was responsible for the development team and its efforts to build a new platform. As well as this, he consulted on a variety of other online projects.

However, after a year and a few months, Taavet Hinrikus decided to continue his journey at Joltid as the Project Manager. In this position, Taavet was in charge of the product development and launch of PeerEnabler – a commercial peer-to-peer content delivery network.

Taavet did not last long here, continuing his journey after 11 months after receiving a job offer from Skype as the first ever employee. Between 2003 and 2008, Taavet Hinrikus worked as the Director of Strategy, defining Skype’s strategy for upcoming products, working with strategic partners, driving cross-company initiatives.

TransferWise was formed in 2010, after Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann met at a party, where they discovered they had the same problem. TransferWise provides cheap cross-border transfers for individuals such as Mr Hinrikus and Mr Kaarmann, who set up the company after complaining about the high cost of transferring money between the UK and their native Estonia.

TransferWise has built an app and a website that allows people to send money abroad using the real and current exchange rates. Transferwise disrupted the market for currency exchange and cross border transfers with transparent pricing and slashing the fees and rate mark-ups charged by banks. The aim of TransferWise is to help expats, foreign students and businesses wire money securely, conveniently, and at a very low cost.

 

TransferWise

 

Who is TransferWise’s Co-Founder and CEO, Kristo Käärmann?

  • Formed TransferWise in 2010
  • A financial services entrepreneur and an ex-consultant with a computer science and maths background
  • Has a Bachelor and Master of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Worked at PwC, EGeen, Tartu University, and Deloitte

 

Kristo Käärmann

 

Kristo Käärmann, a financial services entrepreneur and an ex-consultant with a computer science and math’s background. Studying at Tartu Ülikool, Käärmann completed a Bachelor and Master of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science.

Starting his career, Käärmann landed a job as a Consultant at PwC for a year and then at EGeen – Systems as a Data Architect for a year.

In 2004, Kristo Käärmann went back to PwC as a Consultant. Working as an analysis and design of management information systems for retail banking clients. Alongside this, Käärmann worked at Tartu University as an Associate. He would organise company and university partnerships, as well as organising the software development competition Winter of Code and software engineering courses. Additionally, Käärmann gave lectures in data warehousing and business intelligence.

At the beginning of 2007, after over two years at PwC, Kristo Käärmann became a manager at Deloitte. He specialised in actuarial modelling systems, implementations and delivering systems, tools and data environments for clients’ finance, risk and actuarial departments. He led the firm’s technology approach to help clients with management information and systems architecture challenges in response to the Solvency II regulatory requirements.

However, after meeting Taavet Hinrikus at a party, releasing they had the same problem with sending money home, they decided to form TransferWise in 2010. TransferWise provides cheap cross-border transfers for individuals such as Mr Hinrikus and Mr Kaarmann, who set up the company after complaining about the high cost of transferring money between the UK and their native Estonia.

TransferWise has built an app and a website that allows people to send money abroad using the real and current exchange rates. Transferwise disrupted the market for currency exchange and cross border transfers with transparent pricing and slashing the 3-6% fees and rate mark-ups charged by banks.

The aim of TransferWise is to help expats, foreign students and businesses wire money securely, conveniently, and at a very low cost, allowing people to bypass bank fees using transparent interbank rates.

 

 

What is Taavet Hinrikus’ and Kristo Käärmann’s Net Worth?

Kristo Käärmann is the richest Estonian citizen, estimating his worth at €258.2 million (USD297.4 million).

Taavet Hinrikus, is listed as the second-richest with an estimated worth of €238.6 million (USD274.8 million).

TransferWise has 5 million customers in total and is processing £4 billion in transactions every month. The company’s value has doubled in the eyes of investors since it raised a Series E round of $280 million at the end of 2017.

Total funding in the company stands at $689 million. With a net profit of $7.9 million (£6.2 million) in 2018, revenues have almost doubled to $148 million (£117 million).

With early investors and employees of TransferWise selling $319m worth of shares in a deal that values the UK money transfer company at $5 billion. TransferWise has become the most valuable fintech firm in Europe meaning Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann net worths are likely to increase year by year.

 

TransferWise

 

About TransferWise

  • A financial service built for people, not banks.
  • An online currency exchange and payments service
  • Allowing people to send money abroad using the real and current exchange rates

TransferWise was launched in London by Hinrikus and Käärmann in 2011. The company allows people to exchange currency using mid-market rates for a flat fee. People on every continent around the world are choosing TransferWise to help them live, travel and work internationally.

TransferWise makes sending money abroad up to 8 times cheaper than the bank. This is money without borders – instant, convenient, transparent and eventually free.

For their customers, using TransferWise is as simple as sending money from A to B, but behind our app and website is a complex engine of currencies and routes, that’s being designed, built and powered by their talented teams in cities around the world. For example, they have added the multi-currency account, which lets someone hold over 50 currencies at once and convert them whenever they like.

 

TransferWise

 

In the past 9 years, the TransferWise movement has spread far and wide. Over 8 million happy customers now trust TransferWise to move more than £4 billion every month, saving them £3 million in bank fees every day.

TransferWise has opened 14 offices, with over 2,200 employees and has recently launched in the United States. Since 2011, TransferWise has shifted more than £3 billion of customers’ money and supports more than 300 currency routes. TransferWise booked a net profit of £6.2 million ($7.9 million) for the fiscal year ending March 2018, while annual revenue almost doubled to £117 million.

With 10,000 new business customers signing up every month, they company now has 5 million total customers, processing £4 billion in monthly transactions. This is what makes TransferWise the the most valuable fintech startup in Europe and explains why Richard Branson, and PayPal’s co-founder Max Levchin, among others, have invested in TransferWise’s vision.

 

TransferWise