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The Wise Story

By Wise
Book open Reading time: 3 mins

Wise started in 2011 when our founders, Taavet and Kristo, realised how much banks were ripping them off.

How it all began

Like a lot of good stories, this one starts with two friends (and they’re both from Estonia!)

Taavet was the first employee at Skype and got paid in euros. But he lived in London and needed pounds to pay the bills. 

Kristo worked for Deloitte and lived in London. He got paid in pounds. But he had a mortgage back in Estonia. And he needed to pay that in euros.

Every month they moved their money abroad through banks. It was wasting them time and costing them money. So they invented a beautifully simple workaround that became a billion-dollar business.

They found a better way

Each month, they looked up the exchange rate on Reuters. Taavet then put his euros into Kristo’s Estonian bank account, and Kristo topped up Taavet’s UK bank account using his pounds. Both got the currency they needed almost instantly, and neither paid an extra cent through bad exchange rates or unreasonable charges.

There was no waiting, no stress, and no extra costs. ‘There must be others just like us…’ they thought. The rest is Wise.

Wise today

Over 13 million happy customers now use Wise to move more than £8 billion a month, saving themselves £3 million a day compared to using a bank.

We’ve added the multi-currency account, which lets you hold 50+ currencies at once and convert them whenever you like, and the Wise debit Mastercard.

We now have over 4,000 people working in 17 countries across 4 continents. Apart from all that, not too much has changed.

Our Timeline

February 2011

We hire our first employee — Eva. She stays with us for 8 years.

January 2012

Wise moves out of Kristo’s kitchen, and into our first London office. It’s in Clerkenwell. And it has no windows.


It’s less than 2 years since launch, and Wise is handling over £1m a day. It’s time to go mobile. Our first iOS app hits the App Store...and the Android app isn’t too far behind.


Big news - Sir Richard Branson invests in our vision. We move to our new office in London on City Road and install our first UK sauna.

May 2017

Wise turns a profit and proves we are a sustainable business.

January 2018

We welcome our 1000th Wiser. Seven years after our first employee, Eva, joined.

September 2018

We double our number of global customers in just a year. That’s 4 million and counting.

December 2019

We're now 2000 people strong.

July 2020

Valued at $5 billion, we've been profitable for four years in a row.

July 2021

Wise became a publicly listed company.

November 2021

There are now 3,000 Wisers across the world.

June 2022

We now move £8 billion cross-border payments every month.

August 2022

There are now 4,000 Wisers across the world.

The whole Wise team together at a company event

We’re not done yet

We’re really just at the beginning of our story and we’re growing at an incredible pace. We won’t stop until anyone, anywhere can send, spend and receive money wherever they are, whatever they’re doing.

There’s still heaps to do and we can’t do it alone.

Join us.

Find out more about Wise and discover live opportunities here.