The story of Wise (previously known as TransferWise) is one that reflects a mission-driven company truly impacting the lives of tens of millions of people. As Wise embarks on a new journey as a publicly traded company, we wanted to briefly reflect on our partnership.
Sapphire Ventures first met co-founder Kristo Kaarman (CEO), Matthew Briers (CFO) and team back in 2017. Since then, I’ve learned invaluable lessons from Kristo and the Wise team about the importance of staying the course and being driven by doing good versus solely profit.
During a time when conventional wisdom had nearly every high-growth venture-backed start-up losing significant capital in hopes of reaching scale to turn a profit, Wise redefined the norm to build a hugely valuable technology business. Despite investor pressure to spend more on marketing to help promote customer acquisition due to best-in-class efficiency, Wise resisted and instead kept the discipline of maintaining that efficiency.
While revenues could easily jump by charging even a fraction of a percent more for their service of moving money across borders, Wise instead adhered to their core beliefs of providing the lowest cost and most convenient option for consumers and businesses to transfer money around the world. The management team was a group of always measured, long-term thinkers with short-term precision in execution–a combination only the best teams and companies enjoy.
What’s most impressive is that Wise has been able to achieve this milestone of going public in a very challenging space. The global complexity in technology, integrations and regulations that is required to pull off their service, many times instantly, is unparalleled. And they are disrupting the massive fees banks generate for each and every wire transfer.
It’s been truly a pleasure to partner with Kristo and the team. And I am certain this is only the beginning for Wise. Congratulations to Wise on bucking the trend and doing things their own way to build an incredible, enduring company!