MERGER

WorldRemit to acquire Sendwave

Subject to licensing and regulatory approvals in Q4

In Summary

•As a transaction platform, WorldRemit has been instrumental in the growth of diaspora remittance inflows to Kenya.

•CBK data shows remittances recorded a 12 per cent growth to Sh31.2 billion in June 2020 from Sh27.8 billion in May.

WorldRemit founder, Dr. Ismail Ahmed/COURTESY
WorldRemit founder, Dr. Ismail Ahmed/COURTESY

WorldRemit has announced an agreement to acquire Sendwave, a rapidly growing app-based remittance company in a cash and stock transaction expected to close, subject to licensing and regulatory approvals in Q4 2020.

"Sendwave has built a leading and rapidly growing digital remittance service and wants to bring the instant, low-fees value proposition that their African users love to Asia and Latin America," the global cross-border payments company with operations in Kenya has said.

Sendwave will continue to operate independently and retain its mobile applications, brand, management, employees, and key partners.

“Both WorldRemit and Sendwave share common purpose-allowing customers to easily and cost-effectively send financial support to families, friends, and businesses in other countries,” WorldRemit CEO, Breon Corcoran, said in a statement yesterday.

WorldRemit has one of the broadest and most accessible networks for money transfers globally.

“Combining it with Sendwave, which offers instant, no, or low fee and fully digital payments from North America and Europe to Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and East Africa, addresses customer needs for fast and secure digital payments,” Corcoran added.

This, especially given the current travel restrictions and economic turmoil.

Most of WorldRemit transactions, including to Kenya, are channeled to families back at home for household bills, healthcare, and education, mainly school fees.

“‘Sendwav’-ing money is as easy as sending a text – one less worry for the hard-working and generous diaspora communities that we serve,” said Will Fogel, CEO Sendwave.

“We are eager to combine WorldRemit’s wide reach with our recipe for success in areas like Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria. Together, we can achieve a better service for current and future users,” Fogel added.

In the last 12 months, ending 30 June 2020, WorldRemit and Sendwave have sent approximately $7.5 billion (Sh811.5 billion ) in transfers, generating approximately $ $280 million(Sh30.3 billion) in revenue.

As a transaction platform, WorldRemit has been instrumental in the growth of diaspora remittance inflows to Kenya, which recorded a 12 per cent growth to $288.5 million (Sh31.2 billion ) in June 2020 from $258.2 million (Sh27.8 billion )in May.

The cumulative inflows also recorded a 1.5 per cent growth in the 12 months to June totaling $2.809 billion (Sh303.5 billion) compared to $2.768 billion (Sh299.1 billion ) in the 12 months to June 2019.

Inflows from the US, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia recorded the highest increases in the 12 months.

Remittances have in recent times been Kenya's leading source of forex, ahead of tourism and agricultural exports such as tea, coffee and horticulture.

During the recent post-Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) briefing , CBK governor Patrick Njoroge said the country's forex reserve which is at 5.14 months of import cover, will strengthen in the coming months on expected remittances.

Most of the remittances came from the United States.

Founded in 2010, WorldRemit serves over four million customers, allowing customers to send 90 currencies to 150 countries through its digital services.