Amsterdam-based file-sharing service WeTransfer has disclosed a €35m ($39m) secondary funding round led by technology investment firm HPE Growth.

Being a secondary round, where a number of shareholders offer up pre-existing shares, the WeTransfer has not raised any new capital. 

Likewise, the company has decided against disclosing its full financial details following of the round. However, according to CEO Gordon Willoughby, the startup has seen a notable growth in value since its initial Series A funding round in 2015.

“The value of the company is not public, but what I can tell you is that it’s definitely up significantly since the Series A in 2015,” Willoughby told TechCrunch.

Despite considerable competition in the file-sharing space (some 21 different startups were being tracked during its peak in 2012), WeTransfer has emerged as a leader in the market. According to Willoughby, the company now boasts 50 million monthly active users across 195 countries, and facilitates the transfer of some 1.5 billion files each month.

As well as its core product, WeTransfer has also developed content sharing app Collect, which now boasts four million monthly active users. Likewise, it has also acquired sketching app Paper and presentation tool Paste as it continues to invest in increasing its product range.

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By GlobalData

“Over the past two years, we’ve been investing heavily in our product development and have grown tremendously following the acquisition of the apps Paper and Paste,” Willoughby said. “Our overarching mission is to become the go-to source for beautiful, intuitive tools that facilitate creativity, rather than distract from it.”

WeTransfer: A growth stage tech startup that actual turns a profit

According to venture capital data company PitchBook, some 64% of tech startups to have completed a VC-backed IPO since 2010 were unprofitable. 

The hype, and subsequent failings of ride-hailing firms Uber and Lyft have once again put Wall Street’s desire for unprofitable tech companies in the spotlight.

However, WeTransfer is breaking that trend. According to Willoughby, the growth-stage startup has made a profit in each of the past six years, having first achieved profitability in 2015.

“We’re just a really simple file-sharing service, and people actually like it,” the company’s CIO and Dutch entrepreneur Nalden, previously told Forbes.

How is WeTransfer monetised?

Users are able to transfer files of up to two gigabytes without registering for an account. 

The service is monetised through its subscription service, which allows the use of a personal URL and storage, and can facilitate transfers of up to 20gb, however the company makes little attempt to convert its non-paying users.

“When we don’t push people to upgrade, they start trusting us, and then they start upgrading,” Nalden explained.

As well as subscriptions, WeTransfer also sells full screen ads that display while a transfer is being completed. These ads are designed in-house at the startup’s creative studio, ensuring that they fit the website and don’t take away from the user experience.

“With full-screen advertising, we find that our users don’t feel they’re simply being sold to. This approach to advertising has been incredibly effective, and our ad performance has far outpaced IAB [Interactive Advertising Bureau] standards,” Willoughby told TechCrunch.