Nearly seven years ago, TransferWise was readying the launch of its international money transfer service with bated breath. Co-founder Taavet Hinrikus would later tell me that he wasn’t entirely sure at the time if anyone would use the product. It certainly put the minimal in MVP.
The startup’s first media coverage (on TechCrunch, of course) led to the first $1,000 being transferred. Fast-forward to today and TransferWise is moving more than $1.3 billion every month.
A few months after launch, however, the U.K. and Estonia-based startup was still trying to raise its first seed round. Targeting a mere £1 million, Hinrikus tells me it proved by far the hardest to close.
The company has since gone on to raise nearly $400 million and counts the likes of IVP, Richard Branson, Andreessen Horowitz, and Baillie Gifford as investors. Today TransferWise is reportedly vauled at $1.6 billion and is very likely a candidate for IPO in the next couple of years.
That makes it a good time to have a look back through this European unicorn’s early pitch deck, dated 31st of May 2011. Alongside each slide, I’ve added my own commentary based on an interview with Hinrikus in October.