How Remitly Got its Start [VIDEO]
It was while living and working in Nairobi, Kenya that Matt Oppenheimer saw firsthand how painful it was for people to send money to their loved ones internationally. Not only did they have to wait forever, but they also faced high fees, unfair exchange rates, slow transfers, little security, and little assurance that their money would make it to their intended destination.
He believes remittances are more than a transfer of money. Many people have made the sacrifice of leaving their families behind to live and work in another country to support them financially. These unsung heroes deliver on their promises to take care of those they love and provide them with upward mobility, improving their quality of life. For many on the receiving end, remittances are a lifeline providing them with basic necessities.
Matt knew that with advancements in technology along with the increasing ubiquity of smartphones, a digital platform could be created to cut down costs and let people send money to their loved ones internationally in an easy and affordable way.
Within a year, he was working as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Highway 12 Ventures in Idaho and shortly after created Remitly with co-founders Josh Hug and Shivaas Gulati.
Meet Remitly’s Co-founders
- Josh Hug joined Remitly after initially acting as a mentor for the company. With family living abroad he has experienced the challenge of sending money across borders first-hand. Josh has a history of making beautiful products: most recently as Co-Founder and CEO of Shelfari, a virtual bookshelf which was acquired by Amazon in 2008.
- Shivaas Gulati is an entrepreneur and engineer who loves creating products and using technology to solve problems. Being an immigrant with family based in India, he has experienced the challenges of cross-border banking firsthand. Shivaas holds an MS in IT from Carnegie Mellon University and BS in Computer Science from Wilkes University.
Every day, Matt’s vision to transform the lives of immigrants and their families by providing the most trusted financial service products on the planet is becoming a reality. Today Remitly has become the largest independent digital remittance company based in the United States.
Remitly customers are now sending billions of dollars around the world from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia to India, the Philippines, Vietnam, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, and the Dominican Republic with plans to extend its service to many more countries before the end of this year.