|Alexa rank||230 (April 2018)|
WeTransfer is a cloud-based computer file transfer service. The company was founded in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) by Bas Beerens and Nalden. The core service is free, with more features available for premium accounts. Free users can send files up to 2GB; WeTransfer ‘Plus’ allows transferring without size limitations and offers features like password protection, channel customization and 500 GB storage.
Beerens also runs the design consultancy OY Communications, from which WeTransfer developed, initially as OY Transfer. In 2012, he founded WeMarket, a global B2B marketplace for buyers and suppliers in any industry.
Early development and launch
WeTransfer was founded in 2009 and evolved from Beerens’s frustration at not being able to share large files easily. WeTransfer had to be ‘simple enough for your parents to use’. Nalden, widely known in the Netherlands for his blog Nalden.net, was approached by Beerens and added the idea of the full screen background imagery. After the potential of the service became apparent, WeTransfer was turned into a stand-alone business.
In 2012, WeTransfer implemented a re-design and introduced its premium ‘Plus’ offering, which included bigger file transfers as well as storage, an address book, and the ability to password protect files.
Self-funded from its launch in 2009, WeTransfer reached profitability in 2013. In 2014, WeTransfer launched creativeclass.tv, an ongoing video series. In that same year, WeTransfer also initiated its first bursaries through a collaborative partnership with Central Saint Martins. These bursaries supported two students from around the globe in their full-time studies.
In 2015, WeTransfer raised a $25 million Series A funding round from Highland Capital Partners Europe. WeTransfer indicated that the investment would be used to continue product innovation and further build its brand across the United States, Europe, and beyond.
In 2016, WeTransfer announced the acquisition of digital design and innovation studio Present Plus, to further its commitment to design-driven products and technology. Established in 2010 by Damian Bradfield and WeTransfer co-founder Nalden, Present Plus focused on making technology simple and useful, and creating content worth sharing. Its award-winning work attracted clients like Adidas, MR PORTER, British Airways, Sonos and Christie’s.
In September 2016 WeTransfer opened their first office in the United States, in Venice Beach, Los Angeles. In early 2017, Gordon Willoughby became the company’s Chief Executive Officer, taking over from Founder and Chief Executive Bas Beerens, who stepped back from day-to-day operations to become Executive Chairman.
WeTransfer has a dual revenue model; split between advertising and premium subscriptions. With a free account, users can send files of up to 2GB. With a premium account, customers get access to bigger transfer sizes (up to 20GB), 100 GB storage and password and personalization options.
WeTransfer also works with brands (e.g. Google, Samsung, Netflix and Squarespace) to develop and deliver full-screen advertisements on its billboard like ‘background wallpapers’, an advertising model Nalden pioneered on the blog he ran before launching WeTransfer (Nalden.net). Instead of banner ads, Nalden used full screen ads as a background on his blog, bringing magazine-style imagery online.
75% of WeTransfer users come from the "creative community". Since its launch, WeTransfer has given away 30% of the background wallpaper images (advertising space) to support and showcase artists, designers, musicians, illustrators, photographers and creative organizations. In 2016, this meant giving away one billion page impressions to the creative community.
WeTransfer's content platform ‘This Works’ tells the stories behind the creatives that are featured on WeTransfer.
In early 2017 the company announced that it is offering free premium WeTransfer Plus accounts to all creative arts students in the United States. In the same year, WeTransfer announced that it is one of the Founding Partners of the University of the Underground, as part of WeTransfer’s long term commitment to supporting arts and education. Led by designer and WeTransfer’s Chief of Experiences Nelly Ben Hayoun, the University of the Underground, run in collaboration with Amsterdam's Sandberg Instituut, offers a postgraduate curriculum that encourages students to ‘use multidisciplinary design thinking to make a difference in the world’.
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