Taavet Hinrikus holds the distinction of being Skype’s first employee. After six years with Skype, Hinrikus left the company in 2008.
While working for Skype in Estonia but living in London, Hinrikus had a money transfer problem. There was no way to make that transfer without banks taking huge cuts of money for the service. Luckily, Hinrikus’ friend, Kristo Kaarmann, lived in London and was paid in pounds, but had a mortgage to pay in Euros. Each month, the pair checked the mid market exchange rate and filled each other’s accounts with the desired currency. The two realized they were on to something and started TransferWise. This simple premise is still how TransferWise works for thousands of people all over the world.