WorldRemit raises $40m to further African expansion

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Digital money transfer service WorldRemit has raised $40 million in fresh funds with the Series C round led by LeapFrog Investments, a private investment firm with a particular focus on emerging markets.

WorldRemit's existing investors Accel and TCV also participated in the latest round, which brings the total amount raised so far by the company to $220 million.

The company has allocated the funds to further expand the Africa operations. WorldRemit plans to serve 10 million customers connected to emerging markets - half of these customers will be in Africa.

As part of the expansion, WorldRemit says it will enable customers in Africa to transfer money to 148 countries using the WorldRemit app. Countries in Africa which now receive remittances through WorldRemit, will become send countries, it adds.

WorldRemi says the new service will make sending money within Africa faster, easier and low cost. According to the World Bank, inter-Africa transfers are among the most expensive in the world, it adds.

"This new funding will fuel our growth, and help bring our service to millions more customers across the globe. Africa is a crucial market for us and over the next few years, we will expand our services so customers can send and receive with WorldRemit," says Ismail Ahmed, founder and CEO at WorldRemit.

Money transfers to Africa account for more than half of WorldRemit's total volume of transactions, says money transfer service. The company says it currently handles 74% of remittances to mobile money services across Africa like MTN, Ecocash, Tigo Pesa, Vodafone M-Pesa and Airtel Money.

Since its last funding round in 2015, WorldRemit says it has launched 206 new services across the globe and has grown its transaction volume by 400%.

This latest funding round follows a Series B investment raised from TCV in 2015 and a Series A from Accel and Project A in 2014.

Meanwhile, in July, WorldRemit collaborated with Huawei to add international remittances to Huawei's suite of mobile money products.

According to the companies, the partnership allows WorldRemit's international money transfer service to be available to all partners of Huawei's mobile money service platform, which services over 100 million accounts across Africa.

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