Kristo Käärmann is the founder of Wise (formerly TransferWise). Wise is a London-based financial technology company founded in January 2011. He is the co-founder and CEO of TransferWise, a peer-to-peer international money transfer business.
The business is the first of its kind: it allows regular people to access the real mid-market exchange rate by cutting out traditional banking fees altogether. It charges only a tiny, totally transparent service charge. He worked with European banks and insurers to modernise their processes and systems. In TransferWise, Kristo is in charge of operations, development, compliance. He started his journey from 2017. He is the first employee of the social site Skype
After realizing how much money financial firms make on cross-border money transfers Kristo Käärmann cofounded TransferWise with fellow Estonian-in-London transplant Taavet Hinrikus, the first employee at Skype.
With a relentless fee-cutting approach, the nine-year-old firm has risen to become one of the highest valued private fintech startups in Europe. After a new round of fundraising in May, investors pegged the company’s worth at $3.5 billion. The numbers speak for themselves: Whereas the global average cost of ferrying $200 internationally was 7% in the first quarter of the year, as measured by the World Bank, TransferWise on average charged just 1%. (For any sum sent abroad during that period, Transferwise’s average fee was even lower: 0.63%.) The operation has 5 million customers and moves $5 billion every month.