20 Apr 2014
London Business School alumnus Ismail Ahmed has secured a £24 million ($40 million) investment for WorldRemit, a global online money-transfer service.
Accel Partners, a leading venture capital firm, has committed to invest in WorldRemit which currently allows migrants and expats from 35 countries to send money to more than 100 destinations across the globe.
The firm was founded in 2009, by Ahmed (EMBA2010) who developed his idea at the School’s Entrepreneurship Summer School and won the School’s business plan competition in 2010. Through this competition Ahmed was introduced to Jeremy Coller, founder of the Coller Institute of Private Equity at the School, who subsequently led a £4.4 million investment in the company.
Ahmed, founder and CEO at WorldRemit, comments: “London Business School was instrumental in helping WorldRemit get off the ground. Not only did the Entrepreneurship Summer School provide an ideal environment to develop my ideas, through the School I also found WorldRemit’s first investors, as well as key members of the senior management team.”
Ahmed is an expert in the field of tackling money laundering and has previously helped the United Nations crack down on the problem in East Africa.
WorldRemit is out to challenge the high costs, inefficiencies and lack of transparency associated with traditional money transfer businesses. Its online only, cashless business model is lower cost, quicker and more convenient than traditional providers while also reducing the risk of money laundering.
Accel's multi-million-pound boost will support WorldRemit’s expansion into new geographies and the development of additional products and services. Accel is the first institutional investor for WorldRemit. Funding so far has come from individuals.
Harry Nelis, a partner at Accel Partners, has said: "We are excited to be partnering with a team with deep industry expertise that has enabled them to build the robust technology and strong compliance needed for a secure, trusted and world-class remittance business."
The School’s network played a crucial role in the development of the company. John Mullins, Associate Professor of Management Practice in Marketing and Entrepreneurship was involved in the company from early on as an advisor and board member until last year. Among the senior management team are, Ahmed’s fellow alumnae; Belinda Wrigley (EMBA2006), Chief Financial Officer and Anat Sneh-Matalon (EMBA2011), Chief Marketing Officer.