Software September 23, 2021
Today, Remitly begins an exciting new chapter as a public company in service of an ambitious, inspiring and crucial mission – to transform the lives of immigrants by providing the most trusted financial services on the planet. The journey so far has been truly amazing, and we wanted to provide a window into our experience with them.
We originally met Matt and Josh, the co-founders of Remitly, in late 2014. Since the founding of the company several years earlier, Matt and Josh had turned a deep understanding of the intricacies of the global money transfer market and an abiding belief it could be transformed by digitization into a burgeoning business with impressive traction helping immigrants from the Philippines that had moved to the US send money home to their families. In those earlier years, they were seeing their foundational hypothesis come true – that the in-person, agent-based cash networks that had dominated the market up until that time and minted profits on the back of exploitative and opaque pricing were no match for the power of modern technology, a customer-focused mindset and an exceptional product. It was clear that there was an opportunity to deliver more transparent, faster, cheaper and more trusted services to this frequently ignored customer base, and Remitly was poised to do it.
We watched closely (and with increasing awe) as they built upon the disciplined successes of that first market to swiftly launch Remity’s transformative offering in service of the large immigrant communities from India and Mexico sending their hard earned money back to their families in their native countries as well. It became clear that the Remitly approach, while hard to do well, was resonating at an extraordinary level – they were building nuanced and tailored products with an admirable discipline on unit economics, and they insisted at every turn that building trust within the communities they served was paramount. These early, critical choices guided by unwavering principles put them on a path to creating a company capable of transforming the lives of hundreds of millions of people across the globe.
Since our partnership with Remitly was formalized in 2016, they have expanded from sending money in those 3 corridors mentioned above (US – Philippines, US – India, US – Mexico) to covering over 1,700 country pairs across the planet and now safely send billions of dollars each month to help families support each other. Their services are known by their customers as safe, trusted, fast, fair and transparent – as evidenced by the thousands of reviews and messages the company receives regularly.
Apart from all the commercial success that has come from helping to rewire the global financial system with technology, the company’s ethos of customer centricity and insistence on delivering remarkable service to this often overlooked population is personal as well. Many of us at Stripes are immigrants or children of immigrants – and this is true of many organizations across the United States – and for much too long, this group of people has had an outside-looking-in view of the financial world that many take for granted. It is for this reason that Remitly has broadened their scope beyond remittances with their Passbook product (mobile banking) as well as an array of services in various stages of development that will continue to build on the success of the company thus far with the ultimate aim of fully enfranchising immigrant communities around the world into the financial systems where they live and work.
Congratulations to Matt, Josh and the entire Remitly team on yet another milestone in service of this mission. As Matt likes to regularly remind all of us that have been fortunate enough to have been along for the ride so far, Remitly is just getting started. There is so much more to do, and we can’t wait to see them do it!