LONDON – Revenue at online money transfer business WorldRemit jumped by close to £15 million last year and the company became cashflow positive, the company disclosed.
Accounts filed with Companies House this week show that revenue jumped from £26.8 million in 2015 to £41.1 million last year. Transactions rose from 3.5 million to 5.4 million.
London-headquartered WorldRemit lets people send money overseas via their smartphone and caters for the so-called remittance market – migrants and emigres sending small, regular amounts of money to family and friends in developing markets. The company was founded in 2010 by Ismail Ahmed, a former advisor to the UN on anti-money laundering.
WorldRemit remained loss-making but narrowed losses from £19.4 million in 2015 to £15.3 million last year. Cashflow also turned positive, shifting a negative balance of £25.1 million in 2015 to a net gain of £5.7 million last year.
Ahmed told Business Insider over email: “2016 was a strong year for WorldRemit, with revenue growth of 50%, improved gross margins and lower operating losses compared with 2015.”
The bulk of WorldRemit’s revenue last year – £22.8 million – came from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. £7 million came from the Americas and £11.1 million from Asia-Pacific.
Ahmed said: “As our growth accelerates, we expect to see our revenues increase by more than 50% in 2017. With almost all state licenses secured, the US is now our fastest growing send country and is expected to become our largest send market in the next two years.”
The company’s biggest costs were administrative expenses, totalling £37.8 million in the year. £13.8 million went on employee expenses, with staff numbers rising from 198 at the end of 2015 to 324.
The company spent £8.3 million on marketing last year and £4.4 million on other customer acquisition costs. £3.4 million went on software development, slightly down from 2015’s figure of £3.9 million.
The fintech company has raised close to $150 million to date from investors including Accel Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures. WorldRemit also has £28.7 million of cash and cash equivalents in the business and £9.1 million of an undrawn working capital facility raised last year, accounts show.
Ahmed said: “We continue to invest in the longer term, expanding our network, and have launched our services in several new markets including Singapore, Malaysia and Japan.
“Our business requires significant investment to build a truly global network. Having laid a solid foundation, including securing licences in key send markets, we are now focusing on expanding our pay-out partners.”