The Seattle startup — which lets people send money internationally using their mobile phones — launched the #WhyISend campaign to highlight how money transfers are used.
Helping a family with its daily expenses. Providing for a newborn son. Giving a mother a chance to relax.
People are sharing stories of why they send money to their families across borders, spurred on by Seattle startup Remitly, which lets people send money internationally using their mobile phones.
The company started the #WhyISend campaign to collect stories of immigrants living in the U.S. and to highlight how money transfers are used.
Remittances spiked late last year after Donald Trump was elected president, creating concern that remittances between the U.S. and Mexico could be halted. During the presidential campaign, Trump said he would prohibit remittances until Mexico agreed to pay for a wall between the two countries.
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In November, people sent $2.4 billion to Mexico, according to Mexican central bank data reported by Reuters, a 25 percent increase from the same month a year ago.
Trump’s campaign declaration has yet to come to fruition, and Remitly CEO Matt Oppenheimer said it’s too soon to say what will happen.
“If anything, it makes it more important for us to serve our customers and help them get part of their hard-earned money home,” he said.
Oppenheimer said the customer-stories campaign was not a direct reaction to the political climate, but rather a project that Remitly has been working on for quite some time. Remitly has launched a website to collect the stories about remittances.
Customers sent $2 billion in remittances via Remitly last year, the company said, double the amount from 2015.
Remitly added the ability to send to seven new countries during 2016, bolstered by two separate rounds of funding during the year totaling more than $76 million.
Remitly said it has not seen a notable increase in remittances since the presidential election.
Remitly allows customers in the U.S. to send money to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, India and the Philippines. People in Canada can send to India and the Philippines.
Remitly has 250 employees, including 115 in Seattle.