Nov 2, 2017

TransferWise raises $280 million

TransferWise, a London-based international money transfer platform, has raised $280 million in Series E funding at around a $1.6 billion post-money valuation.

Why it matters: Because TransferWise is among a burgeoning group of unicorns that are facing serious competitive challenges from newer startups, while still trying to disrupt the established order. Consider it the downside of early success, as TransferWise says its 2 million monthly users collectively transfer more than £1 billion. It's also notable for being a VC-backed money transfer company that no longer allows users to transact via Bitcoin.

The deal was co-led by Old Mutual Global Investors and IVP, with Sapphire Ventures, Mitsui & Co. and World Innovation Lab also coming in as new investors. Return backers included Andreessen Horowitz, Baillie Gifford and Richard Branson. Some of the round is a secondary being used for founder liquidity and early employees.

Bottom line: "One way to think about TransferWise's Borderless account is that a multi-currency account is a feature of its core international money transfer business, whereas for challenger banks, money transfer and currency exchange is a feature of its bank accounts." – Steve O'Hear, TechCrunch

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Trump administration backs Oracle in Google fight

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo via The Washington Post.

The Trump administration is siding with Oracle in the database giant's dispute with Google before the Supreme Court — a move that comes as Oracle's founder hosts a high-dollar fundraiser for the president.

Why it matters: Billions of dollars — and, Google argues, the future of software innovation — are at stake as a long-running copyright dispute between the two giant companies heads to the Supreme Court next month.

Established VCs turn to "super angels" to grow their network

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Thanks to companies like AngelList and Carta that make it easier than ever to set up small VC funds, a new generation of so-called “super angels” is cropping up — and established venture funds are backing them.

Why it matters: Just like the boom in scout programs a number of years ago, it’s all about the deal flow.

Scoop: Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates will be reassigned as a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, the National Security Council said Thursday — and a senior White House official said that the administration "rejects" the rumors that she is "Anonymous."

Why it matters: Coates has battled claims that she is the still-unknown Trump administration official that penned a New York Times op-ed and book critical of President Trump.