Remitly acquires Seattle-based immigrant remittances start-up


Daniel Webber
Daniel Webber
Founder & CEO
Daniel is Founder and CEO of FXcompared and has 18 years of experience in the international finance world focusing on cross-border payments, technology and the property sectors. Daniel is widely… Read more
  • Employees of Symphoni, a bootstrapped remittances firm aimed at the immigrant market, will now move to growing industry name Remitly
  • Move represents Remitly’s second acquisition – although financial details of the move weren’t shared
  • “We’re earning [customers’] business in remittances today, and with the acquisition of the Symphoni team, we are going to be much faster and better able to meet their other financial needs tomorrow”, says Remitly’s co-founder


US-based international money transfers firm Remitly has announced its acquisition of a small start-up.

Symphoni, a formerly bootstrapped firm which, like Remitly, is based in the US city of Seattle on the west coast, is a software development firm designed to help new arrivals to the US who operate businesses to access financial services.

The three employees of Symphoni, its co-founders Bayo Olatunji, Amanda Shen, and Marvin Cheng, will now become employed by Remitly’s New Initiatives team.

Unlike some acquisitions, this one will see the ceasing of all Symphoni activities – and its current features will no longer be offered to customers.

The move comes after Remitly acquired another firm back in 2015. It purchased a firm named Talio, which is a photo sharing app.

Remitly has offices across the world alongside its headquarters in Seattle. It is also based in London, Nicaragua and the Philippines.

It has a strong track record when it comes to raising capital too.

It is understood to be one of the best funded technology start-ups in the Pacific Northwest region of the US, a tech hotspot. Its current amount of funding is $175 million, and it has over 1,000 employees.

The amount for which Symphoni was acquired, or the precise details of the acquisition, does not appear to have been made public.

A spokesperson for Remitly said that the company was “going to be much faster” as a result of the acquisition.

“Our customers are ambitious, hard-working, and financially responsible — you’d think traditional financial service companies would be fighting to earn their business”, Shivaas Gulati, a co-founder of Remitly who is now responsible for the New Initiatives engineering team at the firm, told the press.

“We’re earning their business in remittances today, and with the acquisition of the Symphoni team, we are going to be much faster and better able to meet their other financial needs tomorrow.”

The quote from Remitly’s Shivaas Gulati says it all. In a free market, you would expect that large financial services companies would be desperate to get all the customers they can. However, the reality is that major corporations often find themselves chasing the bigger prizes, while the kind of services Symphoni provides, such asfinancial products for people who have bad credit history or little capital, are forgotten about. This acquisition shows that it’s going to be start-up firms like Remitly and Symphoni which will, ultimately, be the ones responsible for catering to this need.

Remitly and other firms are working to make the remittance services space better. Discover more news about their activities here.

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