Fast-growing Boston fintech firm enters biggest market yet: B2B

Boston Business Journal – By Greg Ryan

Flywire, a Boston-based financial services technology firm, is moving beyond the processing of international payments for college tuition and health care services into the much larger business-to-business sector.

The company announced Thursday that its platform will now accept cross-border business-to-business transactions, at a rate below those offered by many banks and wire transfer services. It is targeting industries such as technology, professional services, luxury goods and travel.

Founded in 2009 out of MIT, Flywire — which was known as peerTransfer until 2015 — got its start with international college students making tuition payments in foreign currencies. It then expanded into international healthcare transactions at hospitals like Boston Children’s and Mass General. B2B payments represent a more sizable market than either of those, one CEO Mike Massaro estimates to be $5 trillion to $6 trillion worldwide.

The company has not raised a funding round since landing $22 million from investors including Bain Capital Ventures and Spark Capital in early 2015. “We have a ton of interest. I probably talk to four or five venture or private equity folks every week,” Massaro said. So why no new round? Flywire hasn’t needed the money, he said.

“We’re in this kind of ridiculous position where we have a very large cash position and profitability two years after raising a Series C round,” Massaro said.

Massaro demurred when asked whether the company was considering going public or a agreeing to a sale. Right now, Flywire is on the hunt for more acquisition targets, he said. It bought U.K. rival Uni-Pay in October 2015 and Canada’s ScholarFX last year.

Flywire now has more than 150 employees, nearly double what it had a year and a half ago. About half of the workers are based in Boston, Massaro said. The company moved into a new headquarters off Boston Common in the fall of 2015. It has seven other offices in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, he said.

Over the next year, Massaro expects to hire up to another 100 employees.

Flywire started talking to companies about the new B2B business late last year and has already signed on some clients, he said. It should be able to handle the new business line without any significant changes to its existing platform, he added.

The platform can accept payments in more than 100 local currencies and 220 countries and territories, according to Flywire. Clients can both make and receive payments and track the transactions online.

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