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WorldRemit to Acquire Africa-focused Remittance Firm Sendwave in a Deal Worth Over $500m

WorldRemit, a digital, global cross-border payments company has announced that it has agreed to acquire Sendwave, a rapidly growing African-focused, app-based remittance company in a cash and stock transaction worth over $500 million.

The deal is expected to close, subject to licensing and regulatory approvals, in Q4 2020.

Founded in 2014, Sendwave has built a leading and rapidly growing digital remittance service to East and West Africa, and this summer added Bangladesh, its first receiving market in Asia. Sendwave will continue to operate independently and retain its mobile applications, brand, management, employees and key partners.

The Sendwave acquisition will help bolster WorldRemit’s coverage of Africa. Sendwave, backed by startup incubator Y Combinator, allows customers in North America and Europe to send instant payments to friends and relatives in countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and East Africa. Sendwave will continue to operate as an independent business and retain its management, employees, and key partners, the companies said.

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“Both WorldRemit and Sendwave share a common purpose: allowing customers to easily and cost-effectively send financial support to families, friends and businesses in other countries,” said WorldRemit CEO, Breon Corcoran.

“WorldRemit has one of the broadest and most accessible networks for money transfers globally. Combining it with Sendwave, which offers instant, no/low-fee and fully digital payments from North America and Europe to Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and East Africa, addresses customer needs for fast and secure digital payments – especially given today’s travel restrictions and economic turmoil.”

“Our users send money so their loved ones can pay for necessities like utilities, healthcare and school fees. ‘Sendwave’-ing money is as easy as sending a text – one less worry for the hard-working and generous diaspora communities that we serve,” said Will Fogel, CEO Sendwave.

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“We’re eager to combine WorldRemit’s wide reach with our recipe for success in areas like Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria. Together, we can achieve a better service for current and future users.”

In the last 12 months, ending 30 June 2020, WorldRemit and Sendwave have sent approximately US $7.5 billion in transfers, generating approximately US $280 million in revenue.

This represents a YoY growth of over 50% for the year ended June 2020 relative to historic combined revenues. On a pro forma basis, the combined company will have over 100 send licences including for every US state, across a network that includes 50+/150+ send/receive countries and almost 8,000 payments corridors, a broad footprint that serves a large, but fragmented $715 billion remittances market that the World Bank estimates is growing at a 10% annual CAGR.

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