We’re delighted to announce that Founders Co-op is now an investor in Beamit Mobile — a member of the TechStars Seattle Class of 2011.
Co-founders Matt Oppenheimer, Josh Hug and Shivas Gulati are on a mission to blow up the current market for international money transfers by taking full advantage of the global ubiquity and advancing technical capabilities of connected mobile devices.
Almost $1 billion is transferred between individual recipients across international borders every day.
Current approaches are inconvenient, expensive and slow, making the market ripe for disruption. But this is also an industry wrapped in red tape and notoriously “leaky” due to fraud, so it’s not for the faint of heart. To manage risk and hone their approach, the team is beginning with just one international market — the Philippines — from one U.S. jurisdiction — Washington State — and that alone is a $300 million opportunity. But as they made clear in their Demo Day pitch yesterday, their ambitions are global and they’re moving with lightning speed.
Matt’s background as the Head of Mobile and Internet Banking for Barclay’s Bank in Kenya gives him unique insight into both the opportunity and risks presented by this market. Chief Product Officer Josh Hug’s experience as CEO and co-founder of social book-sharing service Shelfari (acquired by Amazon) adds proven customer experience (and customer acquisition) chops to the team. Add in Carnegie Mellon-trained startup vet Shivas Gulati on the engineering side and you have a core team with the chops and discipline to make a hard run at a very big idea.
We’ve been sitting next to the team for the past three months as they cranked through the crucible of TechStars and we’re incredibly excited to have the opportunity to carry the relationship forward as investors and advisors to the business. Welcome to the family, guys.