Ben Horowitz of Andreessen Horowitz, early funder of Facebook, led the way in a $58 million fund raising for London-based currency transfer startup Transferwise, according to Bizjournals. Transferwise is already popular in England, where it charges lower rates to change currency. Ben Horowitz will sit on Transferwise’s board, and others who invested in the company were Peter Thiel and Virgin’s Richard Branson.
Transferwise will open operations in the U.S. as soon as it gets permission to do banking business in the U.S. The company was started in 2011 by Skype executives Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Kaarmann. Horowitz told BizJournals, “We are thrilled to be backing Taavet and Kristo. They discovered an important secret and are uniquely prepared to pursue it. Not only is their solution 10 times better than the old way of exchanging foreign currency, but it could not have come at a better time. Since there has been little to no intervention from the traditional banking sector, we see massive opportunity for new financial institutions like Transferwise.”
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Marc Andreessen and Carl Icahn engaged in a war of words last fall, when Andreessen criticized Carl Icahn’s style of activist investing as self-serving and referred to him as an “evil Captain Kirk.” Meanwhile, Icahn accused Andreessen of having stolen Skype from eBay and said Andreessen had “screwed more people than Casanova.” But that’s a whole other topic you can read about here, an article we published about yet another Wall Street cat fight.