peerTransfer Raises $7.5 Million in Funding to Help Colleges and Universities Streamline Payment Processing for International Students
Spark Capital Leads Round, Joined by Accel Partners and Maveron, to Fuel Company’s Growth to Become the Leading Payments Company for International Education
BOSTON, MA – August 16th, 2011 – peerTransfer, a premier provider of global payment solutions for international education payments, today announced that it has closed a $7.5 million Series A financing round, led by Spark Capital with participation from Accel Partners, Maveron and Boston Seed Capital. The funding will be used to increase headcount and infrastructure across functional areas to support growth as it expands the number of colleges and universities it works with. peerTransfer already works with over 30 leading institutions including Auburn University, Georgia State University, Miami University, Reed College, Suffolk University, University of Cincinnati, Wellesley College and Western Kentucky University to streamline their international payment processing while helping their international students save time and money.
peerTransfer is offered completely free of charge to colleges and universities, requires no IT implementation, and supports students across all countries. Currently available through leading colleges and universities, peerTransfer’s solution provides significant time and cost savings for international students on tuition and other education-related payments. By collecting funds in the students’ home currency, bundling transactions to secure higher-volume purchases and more favorable foreign exchange rates, and eliminating unnecessary intermediary transaction fees, peerTransfer provides significant cost savings as compared to traditional banking solutions – up to thousands of dollars for a single year’s tuition. In addition to the student savings, peerTransfer helps schools reduce administrative overhead by ensuring the fast and accurate delivery and posting of funds.“peerTransfer has rapidly emerged as the leading company in the international payment processing industry, gaining impressive traction with clients in the higher education space,” said Alex Finkelstein, general partner at Spark Capital. “Its business model is rather innovative: no fees are charged to the school or to the student. Instead, the company shares a small part of the savings generated by students thanks to more favorable currency exchange rates. peerTransfer has beaten all of its milestones since we invested in the company less than a year ago and we look forward to further working with Iker and his team to support its next phase of growth.”
“I founded this company to help international students save on fees and administrative hassle when making tuition payments. International students in the US lose more than $1 billion per year from bad currency exchange rates and banking fees. We want to help them.” said founder and CEO, Iker Marcaide “We are already processing millions of dollars for our partner schools and providing substantial savings to their international students. As we enter our next phase of growth, I am excited to welcome Accel and Maveron and to continue working with the teams at Spark and Boston Seed Capital.”
peerTransfer is the pioneer in development of innovative global payment solutions. Its first offering, peerTransfer Education is targeted at the higher education market and has been proven to save schools and their international students a significant amount of time and money when making tuition payments. Unlike traditional banks, peerTransfer is able to offer wholesale foreign exchange rates, which equates to a significant amount of savings for the students. The company was founded in 2009, is headquartered in Boston, Mass., with additional offices in Europe, and is backed by leading international investors (including Spark Capital, Accel Partners and Maveron). The company has received several awards including winning the HIT Barcelona 2010 Innovation Summit; “Best Consumer Technology that Makes Life Easier,” and “Innovative Business Model,” from MITX; and was also named one of the “5 big ideas in Boston” by Xconomy. For more information, visit www.peertransfer.com.
About Spark Capital
Spark Capital is a venture capital firm based in Boston, Massachusetts with investments focused on the conflux of the media, entertainment and technology industries. Over the last decade, the Spark team has been instrumental in the development of new markets and market leaders such as Akamai Technologies, Qtera, Aether Systems, Novatel Wireless, Twitter, 5Min, Altius Education, AdMeld, Verivue and Tumblr. With deep experience and $980 million under management, Spark Capital provides world-class entrepreneurs and revolutionary companies with the resources to succeed in today’s marketplace. For more information, visit www.sparkcapital.com
About Accel Partners
Founded in 1983, Accel Partners has a long history of partnering with outstanding entrepreneurs and management teams to build world-class businesses. Accel today invests globally using dedicated teams and market-specific strategies for local geographies, with offices in Palo Alto, California, New York City, London, New Delhi and Bangalore, as well as in China via its partnership with IDG-Accel.
Accel has helped entrepreneurs build over 300 successful companies, many of which have defined their categories, including Actuate, AdMob, Agile Software, Alfresco, AMCC, Arrowpoint, Atlassian, BBN, Brightcove, Check24, ComScore, Etsy, Facebook, Foundry Networks, Gameforge, GlamMedia, Groupon, Imperva, Infinera, Interwoven, IronPlanet, JBoss, Kayak, Macromedia, metroPCS, OPOWER, Polycom/PictureTel, Playfish, Portal Software, QlikTech, Quidsi (Diapers.com), Rapt, Real Networks, Redback Networks, Responsys, Riverbed, SupportSoft, UUNet, Veritas, Walmart.com, Webroot, Wily Technology, Wonga, XenSource and Zimbra.
Accel has made a number of recent investments in payments-related companies including Unirush, OzForex, Yapstone and Braintree. For more information, please visit the Accel Partners web site at www.accel.com, or find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/accel
Maveron is a venture capital firm focused on backing the best entrepreneurs in three sectors: web-enabled consumer services, education and wellness. Founded in 1998 by Dan Levitan and Howard Schultz, the firm has offices in Seattle and San Francisco. Representative Maveron investments include Altius Education, eBay, Capella Education, Groupon, Livemocha, PayNearMe, Shutterfly, Trupanion and zulily. For more information about Maveron, visit www.maveron.com.