Taavet transferred the money in Estonian currency to his friend’s account in the home country; his friend reciprocated by returning the money in pounds in the UK. Over the period of a year they saved several thousands of pounds in transfer fees.
Many of us immigrants—perhaps its time we called ourselves expats?—have faced the same problem. What we did perhaps, was to grit our teeth, curse, bear it, and move on. Taavet and his friend (now co-founder) did something more. They set up a service to provide an online money transfer service which charges a fraction of the banks. “When within a few minutes of setting up the business we found that a consumer had transferred a few thousand pounds then we knew that we had to make it into a business” he told me with a still-dazed look in his eyes.
Thus was founded TransferWise, a peer-to-peer international money transfer business. We help people save a lot of money says Taavet on his LinkedIn profile, and having often being at the receiving end of heavy transfer fees, I cannot but chuckle at the accuracy of his tagline.
Cut to a few days later, when I met Abhishek Garodia. Seems when he first arrived in London from Asia, he could not find any concise information in one place of all available gym classes in his neighbourhood and so was born the idea of playenable.com. It is a platform, which goes across all the fitness and facilities classes in the neighbourhood.
You can schedule, book and pay through this site. Best of all it feels really suited to the needs of the many mind-body-spirit professionals I know who run their own studio. They wouldn’t need to spend to build their own websites—for playenable.com would provide them with their own microsite too. Abhishek is the quintessential ADD entrepreneur; he’s just got his first seed funding—its tiny he assures me—and is working day and night to raise the critical second round.