Shaper: Taavet Hinrikus

Show aired on 25th November 2017


Taavet Hinrikus

Taavet Hinrikus is co-founder and CEO of TransferWise. Prior to co-founding TransferWise in 2010, Taavet was Skype’s director of strategy until 2008, starting as its first-ever employee. One of the World Economic Forum’s Tech Pioneers, Taavet is an adviser to Prime Minister of Estonia on the digital agenda. He’s also a mentor and angel investor.

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“We really started TransferWise to solve a personal frustration…”

“We were thinking, wait a moment, there are hundreds of millions of people all around the world who have a need to make international payments and we could do something to help these people.”

“I was the first employee in the team that built Skype which was a super exciting journey. It was huge rollercoaster. I learnt a lot, and all the things not to do as well.”

“Someone coming out of Cambridge is bound to be relatively smart. Do they come out of there as a fully shaped final product? Absolutely not.”

“We believe in the forest and trees, we enjoy lots of sun as it clears our mind and as a result we get to be creative and create things.”

“Before Skype, if you graduated from University and go work for a start-up, your mum is going to ask you, so what happened dear daughter? Were you not good enough for the telecommunication company?”

“I think raising venture capital is like many other things in life, you learn to walk before you learn to run and before you get to sprint.”

“I see lots of young, ambitious, talented people and I want to help them, I want to see how I can be part of the journey.”

“I think my style is really about trusting people but helping to make sure that we know what we need to achieve.”