TransferMate joins Ireland’s growing stable of tech unicorns

23 May 2022

Image: © liubovyashkir/Stock.adobe.com

A $1bn valuation for the fintech business makes it Ireland’s first woman-led homegrown tech unicorn.

B2B payments technology company TransferMate has become Ireland’s newest unicorn start-up with a valuation of $1bn.

The company secured $70m in funding to reach this latest valuation, bringing its total raised to date to $130m.

UK pension fund Railpen participated in this latest funding round, which consists entirely of primary capital.

Founded in 2010, Kilkenny-headquartered TransferMate now has offices around the world. The investment will be used to expand TransferMate’s global workforce and further develop its technology and product suite.

“This investment will allow us to accelerate our mission to drive innovation as businesses seek to digitise their B2B payments within the core software that they use to conduct their day-to-day activities,” said CEO Sinead Fitzmaurice.

Fintech empire

TransferMate has grown over the past decade to become a global provider of B2B payments infrastructure-as-a-service. It aims to make the sending and receiving of cross-border payments as easy as transferring domestic funds, with transparency of transactions right up to final reconciliation.

“By combining our technology and our global licence network, we empower software providers, banks and fintechs to deliver payments dramatically faster and cheaper than the traditional SWIFT system,” said TransferMate co-founder Terry Clune.

Clune is now chair and CEO of CluneTech (formerly the Taxback Group), a software technology group and parent of TransferMate.

Clune previously founded and led Taxback.com, a tax recovery business he started as a student sideline which grew into a fintech empire. As well as TransferMate and Taxback, the CluneTech stable includes payroll tech company Immedis and careers platform Gradguide.

TransferMate’s large portfolio of payments licences and banking network enables it to support trading in more than 201 countries and 141 currencies. Its clients include major software platforms as well as banks and fintechs around the world.

“We will use this investment to continue to recruit senior financial talent who can help broaden our customer base,” said Clune.

Fitzmaurice took over leadership of TransferMate following the departure of fellow co-founder Barry Dowling.

Ireland’s billion-dollar club

TransferMate is the latest in a string of newly minted Irish tech unicorns, and it is the first woman-led homegrown company to reach this milestone.

This year kicked off with both Flipdish and Wayflyer hitting unicorn valuations. They joined 2021’s unicorns LetsGetChecked and Fenergo.

Software company Workhuman, which was founded in Ireland and is now co-headquartered in Dublin and Massachusetts, was valued at $1.2bn in 2020.

Intercom, which has been led by Karen Peacock since July 2020, is an Irish-founded unicorn but its headquarters are in San Francisco. Stripe, the world’s most valuable start-up from Irish founders, similarly grew its business in the US but is now dual-headquartered across its Dublin and San Francisco offices.

Indian software testing firm BrowserStack, which achieved unicorn status in 2021, also has its international headquarters in Dublin.

Speaking at Silicon Republic’s Future Human event earlier this month, Jenny Melia of Enterprise Ireland discussed the country’s growing unicorn stable and how role models are providing inspiration for entrepreneurs. “They can see the Intercoms, they can see the Stripes, and there is that concept of ‘if you can see it, you can be it.’”

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Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com