TransferWise Gives European Startups $100 Million Worth of Free Money Transfers


TransferWise — an international money transfer company co-founded by one of Skype’s first employees — is launching a campaign which will allow 1000 European startups to transfer up to $100,000 each with no charge, according to The Next Web. Normal charges are €1 or £1 (about $1.30) up to €200 or £200, and half a percent for anything additional — compared to about 3% transfer fees charged by banks.

Any startup in Europe which is less than two years old and not already a TransferWise customer can apply here; registration closes May 10, and is first come, first serve. Co-sponsors of the event include mega-investor Peter Thiel and Niklas Zennström, co-founder of Skype.

TransferWise has presently processed over £100m worth of transfers, and has more than 10,000 regular customers. Apparently, the idea for the contest came from personal experience for founders Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann, who say the most painful part of their previous startup experiences was dipping into limited company funds for steep money transfer charges.

It’d be great if Western Union could do something for American startups, but who am I kidding? Those fat-cat Western Union execs would never give up their cushy bonuses and private planes to help a lil’ American entrepreneur…SMDH…what is this country coming to…