Somali businessman Ismail Ahmed’s WorldRemit now has over 5.7 million customers globally

WorldRemit, a cross-border digital payments firm led by London-based Somali businessman Ismail Ahmed, has seen its worldwide client base grow to more than 5.7 million as technological innovation and adoption pushed the acceptance of cross-border transfers and payments.

WorldRemit, which was co-founded in 2010 by Ahmed, Richard Igoe and Catherine Wines, has evolved from a small firm that facilitates payments into a cross-border digital payments service that provides international money transfer and remittance services globally.

As an international student in London in the 1980s, Ahmed needed to send money home to his family in East Africa. According to him, every transfer entailed a long trip to an agent who demanded exorbitant fees.

In order to fix the current problem while also producing value, he decided to make a difference in the financial services industry by developing a payment platform that allows consumers to send money online to family and friends using a computer or smartphone.

Over 10 years later, WorldRemit has serviced 5.7 million users in 130 countries, utilizing 70 different currencies under the leadership of Ahmed. The firm now operates under Zepz, previously WorldRemit Group.

Zepz is a digital cross-border payments platform that operates two market-leading brands, WorldRemit and Sendwave, another cross-border payment platform authorized to transmit money in the United States, Canada, the UK and the EU.

Sendwave was acquired in 2021 to deepen its reach as a leading payments platform.

By the end of 2021, Zepz secured $292 million in fresh primary funding, giving it a $5-billion value as it works to disrupt the peer-to-peer cross-border payments business, which is estimated to be worth $1 trillion.

The capital round will allow Zepz to continue investing in its technology, platform and customer offering. This, in turn, will provide WorldRemit with the opportunity to enter new market sectors and develop its platform to provide other value-added services to its customers.

Omokolade Ajayi
Omokolade Ajayi
Omokolade Ajayi is a financial reporter at Billionaires.Africa. Previously, he worked as a journalist at Nairametrics. Omokolade is a seasoned financial analyst and reporter with in-depth knowledge of and expertise in equity markets, and financial and economic analysis. He has a degree in economics and is a certificate holder of the CFA Institute’s Investment Foundation Program.

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