Tuition payment startup peerTransfer raises $22 million

Boston Globe – By Jack Newsham

Boston-based peerTransfer, a website that gives international students a low-fee way to make tuition payments in their local currencies, said Tuesday it raised $22 million in its latest investment round.

The company, which was founded in 2009, is already profitable and estimates it will process $1 billion in payments for the 2014-2015 academic year. According to a press release, the company said it can process payments from around the world to over 500 colleges in the US, UK, Australia, and Canada. Tuesday’s announcement marked the close of the company’s fifth financing round.

“We’re typically about half what a foreign bank would charge,” said Mike Massaro, peerTransfer’s chief executive. Most students using the site hail from China, India, and South Korea, he said.

Local universities that participate include Bentley University, Berklee College of Music, Boston College, Boston University, MIT, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Tufts University, and Emerson College.

peerTransfer saves money by structuring transfers so that money does not cross borders and converting large amounts of currency at a more competitive rate than a payer could receive making an international transfer, Massaro said. The company said that it signs up 50 universities every three months, which make peerTransfer available to their foreign students.

Bain Capital Ventures was the largest investor in the company’s Series C financing round. Repeat investors who grew their stakes included Spark Capital, Devonshire Investors, Accel Partners, and QED Investors, peerTransfer said.

Jack Newsham can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @TheNewsHam.

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