Payments firm Thunes bags $10m to expand into developing nations

7 May 2019

Image: © Rostislav Sedlacek/

Sold as a cross-border payments network for developing economies, Thunes is now being backed to expand its offering in the key target markets.

Previously known as TransferTo, Singapore-headquartered Thunes has celebrated a new Series A funding round worth $10m, led by venture capital (VC) firm GGV Capital. With this now secured, the start-up said it wants to drive deeper and experience more rapid growth across its key markets.

This, it said, includes Africa, Asia and Latin America, where it will build more strategic partnerships to help bring improved payment solutions to businesses and consumers in emerging economies. Also, as part of the announcement, it will open up new offices in a number of locations including San Francisco, Dubai and Paris.

“We are extremely proud and excited to have a top VC like GGV Capital recognise our vision and potential,” said Thunes’ executive chair, Peter De Caluwe.

“We’ve hired a very experienced CEO, Steve Vickers, to lead Thunes’ global expansion and take the business to the next level. This funding allows us to accelerate our company mission and we are all excited for the year ahead.”

Meanwhile, GGV Capital’s managing partner, Jenny Lee, added: “We pride ourselves on the long-term success of the companies we invest in, and we were attracted by Thunes because we are aligned with their mission and see a lot of growth potential in this business. This is a great business with a fantastic growth record, and we look forward to their next chapter.”

Thunes recently announced a collaboration with Western Union to expand payout capabilities to mobile wallets. It also partnered with PayPal and Vodafone mobile payments division M-Pesa to provide alternative payment solutions, enabling Kenyan consumers and businesses to interact with global e-commerce.

One of the big areas of interest for Thunes and its VC partners is south-east Asia, with GGV Capital’s Lee saying to TechCrunch: “In China and the US, currency is homogeneous and payment systems are established. But in south-east Asia right now, a huge number of the population is just getting on the internet and there are not a lot of established players.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic