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peerTransfer adds $22 million in new funding

BetaBoston – By Dennis Keohane

Boston-based peerTransfer announced today that it has raised $22 million in funding to support its platform that simplifies the process for international college students to pay their tuition.

The company lets students and their families transfer money, in their local currency and using a payment method of choice, to pay for college through the relationships that peerTransfer has with more than 600 academic institutions. PeerTransfer also offers discounted currency conversion rates that are lower than same services offered by “home-market” banks, credit card providers, and other online payment options.

“We typically provide a user to save half of what they would have gotten charged by a foreign bank or an across-border payments via the bank wire systems,” said peerTransfer chief executive Mike Massaro.

The company has completed over 100,000 transactions through its platform, which Massaro said makes money through currency conversions. The chief executive also said that peerTransfer expects to process more than $1 billion in education payments this academic year. Since founding the company in 2009, Massaro said he is most proud of making the peerTransfer profitable, something that he said is very important for a company working in the financially conservative education space.

The company plans to use the funding to continue to hire and roll out new payment methods and support for more currencies and to possibly expand its services to other cross-border payment opportunities such as study abroad programs and international donations. They also intend to offer more banking products and financial services to its international students and hope to bring their platform to industries other than education.

According to Massaro, the company, which also has an office in Spain, is growing too large for its current space and is seeking a new office in another location in Boston.

The new funding was led by Bain Capital Ventures, and also included previous backers Spark Capital, Devonshire Investors, Accel Partners, and QED Investors. To date, peerTransfer has raised $43.2 million in funding.

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