East Africa

Meet Somali Billionaire Ahmed, Man Behind WorldRemit, Three Other Million-Dollar Firms

Ismail Ahmed is a Somali-born British entrepreneur who founded and chairs WorldRemit, a money transfer company that uses mobile technology to send money around the world.

World Remit is just but among a line of Million-Dollar companies owned by the billionaire.


Ismail Ahmed, the Founder and Chairman of WorldRemit, led a digital transformation in the field of money transfers. WorldRemit, which started in 2010, became a leading platform for low-cost and transparent cross-border transactions. Under Ahmed’s leadership, WorldRemit raised over $375 million in funding and became the UK’s fastest-growing tech company. WorldRemit necessitates money transfers across 130 countries.


Zepz, the parent company of WorldRemit and Sendwave, is a financial powerhouse with over 11 million users in 150 countries. Zepz received $292 million in funding recently, which boosted its valuation to $5 billion.

In 2022, Zepz handled over $15 billion in cross-border transactions. With operations in 5,000 money transfer corridors worldwide and a global team of over 1,400 people.


In 2020, Ismail Ahmed strategically guided WorldRemit to buy Sendwave, a major player in African and Asian remittances. This move not only improved WorldRemit’s market position but also enhanced the remittance experience by combining resources. Apart from recent business success, Ahmed has also made Sendwave a force for good for immigrants and unbanked populations.


Daariz, launched in April 2021 by Ismail Ahmed, is a London and Hargeisa-based initiative that to improve literacy and promote lifelong learning. Through a set of free education apps, including the flagship app Daariz Somali, Ahmed’s venture offers interactive lessons in reading, writing, and comprehension.

Sahan Foundation

He is also a director of the Sahan Foundation International, a non-profit organization that works on peacebuilding and development in the Horn of Africa.

Ahmed has a PhD in economics from the University of London and an MBA from London Business School. He has worked for the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, and Rothschild.

He launched WorldRemit in 2010 after experiencing the high costs and inefficiencies of traditional money transfer services.

In 2020, Ahmed was ranked first in the Powerlist 2020, an annual list of the most influential people of African heritage in the UK.

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Lawrence Baraza

Lawrence Baraza is a dynamic journalist currently overseeing content at Metropol TV Digital. With a keen focus on business news and analytics, Lawrence guides the platform in delivering insightful, data-driven content that empowers its audience to make informed decisions. Lawrence’s commitment to quality and his ability to anticipate market trends make him a key figure in the digital media landscape. His work continues to shape the way business news is consumed, making a significant impact in the field.


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