TransferWise, the international money transfer platform, has been named as one of the World Economic Forum’s ‘technology pioneers’, a selection of the world’s most innovative companies.
The company was founded by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann in 2011 in a bid to disrupt the international money transfer industry by dramatically reducing the cost of sending money abroad and bringing more transparency to the market.
TransferWise was chosen by a professional jury among hundreds of candidates as one of the 49 selected companies. Thanks to its selection, it will now have access to an influential business and political network in the world, and be invited to the World Economic Forum’s “Summer Davos” in Dalian, China, this September, or the Annual Meeting in Davos in January.
“We’re glad to see TransferWise make it to the selection. TransferWise is part of a group of entrepreneurs who are more aware of the crucial challenges of the world around them, and who are determined to do their part to solve those challenges with their company,” says Fulvia Montresor, Head of Technology Pioneers at the World Economic Forum.
“It’s a great honour to be named as one of the World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers. We founded TransferWise because we realised that millions of people around the world would benefit from a fairer and transparent way of transferring money,” said Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of TransferWise.
Other notable ‘technology pioneer’ selections included the Swedish payments processor iZettle, and Ripple Labs, creator of the Ripple payment protocol and exchange network.
The Technology Pioneers were selected from among hundreds of applicants by a selection committee of 68 academics, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and corporate executives. Notable members of the committee include Arianna Huffington (founder, Huffington Post) and Henry Blodget (editor-in-chief, Business Insider). The committee based its decisions on criteria including innovation, potential impact, working prototype, viability and leadership.
Past recipients include Google (2001), Wikimedia (2007), Mozilla (2007), Kickstarter (2011) and Dropbox (2011).
In terms of the UK’s presence on the FinTech scene, it should be noted that after the US, the UK has had the highest number of companies in this year’s selections: four out of 49. That is more than there have been the technology pioneers programme in any year since 2007.
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