TransferWise Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

TransferWise Reviews

Updated 14 April 2019
214 reviews

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4.7
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TransferWise CEO Kristo Käärman
Kristo Käärman
77 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Best work environment you can ever imagine" (in 27 reviews)

  • "amazing company with great people" (in 15 reviews)

Cons
  • "The "autonomous teams" has its downfalls too - mainly the communication between teams during different projects" (in 18 reviews)

  • "Cross-team communication can be a challenge with autonomous teams" (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Featured Review

    Helpful (8)

    "Love working at TransferWise"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous in London, England
    Current Employee - Anonymous in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Great working environment, strong corporate culture and super smart and passionate people
    - Very strong mission and customer focus
    - I am a happy customer myself, which makes working here even better
    - Super exciting hyper-growth, a lot of new people joining all the time
    - I definitely develop and I get all the support I need
    - TransferWise encourages business travel to other offices

    Cons

    - Some growing pains like limited office space, but everyone is making the best out of it until the office is expanded
    - Autonomous teams aren't always the best way to work, some leadership would to good

    Advice to Management

    Some more leadership would be great and help a lot of teams


  2. "A great company to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Analyst in London, England
    Current Employee - Analyst in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Great culture and working environment, incredibly smart people to work with and learn from.

    Support to develop and grow, numerous opportunities to take initiative.

    Very strong mission that is more just buzzwords.

    Cons

    Due to how fast the company is growing, there are issues with lack of available free (permanent) desks and meeting rooms.

    Cross-team efforts are not so easy to coordinate as all teams are autonomous.

  3. "Fun place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Global Events Project Manager in London, England
    Current Employee - Global Events Project Manager in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Colleagues are absolutely wonderful. There are so many smart and creative people together. I am inspired by them and what they do every day.
    If you are open to learning there are so many things to learn. You just need to see where you can help and do it. I enjoy choosing my own new challenges and working in an open and honest environment.
    I love it that even though I have been here for 5 years the company still feels like a startup to work in. We are just a bit better structured in many ways. The feeling is still there.

    Cons

    While I enjoy autonomous teams and working this way, it is not for everyone. I would suggest thinking about this when applying for a job and trying to find out if this environment is one where you can thrive.
    There is a lot of information to learn and it may not be as straightforward as a new joiner may expect. We are definitely getting better at it and have made massive steps forward.


  4. Helpful (5)

    "More of a cult than a company. Overrated."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Current Employee - Software Engineer
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    TL;DR
    This is still a good company to work for, but don't just go with the hype or believe these reviews. They are a reflection of what TransferWise does best: indoctrination. If you have a similar offer from somewhere else you should definitely consider it.

    Other upsides:
    - Freedom
    - People can have a say (comes with a price)
    - It's a quite transparent company everyone is always been told what's going on
    - Offices are quite nice
    - Quite social crowd (if you are into that)
    - Mission is ambitious. You can feel like you're making a difference.

    Cons

    Hyper growth is challenging. When you have a company with over a thousand people too much freedom can lead to chaos. Also, the fact that autonomy is one of the core values of the company has turned teams quite selfish about their own goals. Cross team collaboration is almost impossible. It's so hard that ends up discouraging people from seeking to fix or do any task that involves other teams.

    It's like living in a country with different factions that pretend to collaborate with one another. The company is divided into several cliques, and the old employees act as tribal leaders: don't even think about disagreeing with them.

    It's an EXTREMELY political company. If you hate politics, don't bother joining. It's as political as any big old organisation out there (or worse than most).

    Most leads are quite young and with that comes a huge ego. You will feel like going back to secondary school sometimes. Dramas, gossip, etc. It's a downside of having so many young people together.

    On the engineering side, it's the most unproductive company I've ever worked for. Anything that took 1 week anywhere else in TransferWise takes 4. Loads of talking, convincing and trying to understand a codebase that has become a huge patchwork of badly designed APIs, very little actual coding. Code quality is average at most. Be prepared to deal with technical debt through the roof. Because the company grows so fast, most of the engineers know very little about the current codebase. No documentation, no javadocs, just hearsay.

    Last but not least, the perks of being a vibrant startup are mostly gone by now. This is a huge organisation not a small startup anymore. You still get some of the basics, like free fruit etc, but it's the same as you get in any other tech company nowadays.

    Advice to Management

    Hire more experienced people. When you get this big you need more than youth.


  5. "An exciting and rewarding place to work!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    - Mission-driven culture with all of us wanting to make a difference
    - Autonomy to add value across the business
    - Strong wellbeing focus
    - Creative office spaces

    Cons

    - It's such a shift from other more conventional working environments that the initial weeks can be tough, but there's plenty of support provided and we all go through it so hang in there and enjoy the ride! Besides, who wants to be conventional? :)


  6. "Great company culture"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - PR Intern in London, England
    Former Employee - PR Intern in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at TransferWise full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Plenty of very interesting projects to work on! There are a lot of opportunities to socialise with the rest of the team, including the founders. A lot of perks such as free lunch, business travel opportunities, training among others.

    Cons

    I can't think of any, I had a great experience!


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Over-hyped"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at TransferWise full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    They are riding high on past success. They've been lucky that competitors have had a few problems...

    Cons

    Most leads are leads based on length of time in company rather than any leadership ability.
    Inconsistency of ability across teams - people are kept/ promoted if they agree with the leadership team. Some of the leadership team are really incompetent so they prefer people around them who are just as incompetent...
    Micro-management by leadership (esp CEO) or in worst cases complete by-passing of teams ....while still claiming to be an autonomous culture.
    No longer the boys club it used to be... but the female employees are pretty cutthroat while claiming to be supportive.

  8. "Great place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Company Culture - fun at work.
    Mission driven company
    The sense that TransferWise is revolutionising a big, broken industry.
    Ability to travel.

    Cons

    The lack of structure isn't for everyone. Takes some getting used to.


  9. "Analyst"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time

    Pros

    Great culture, people and benefits

    Cons

    - - - - -


  10. "Work however you like & work on whatever you like"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Full Stack Developer in London, England
    Current Employee - Full Stack Developer in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at TransferWise full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    I think our culture is pretty unique in the sense that I can choose to work from home whenever I want and naturally we have problems but from what I’ve seen people air those problems out and we are pretty good at addressing them head on.

    I also like that I can push whatever projects I want & generally people don’t even question me on it - not that questions are a bad thing.

    Fairly generous travel policy to compensate for issues with having a highly distributed team.

    It’ll feel very cult like initially but trust me it gets better after a couple of years of being here.

    Cons

    Base salaries are below market for engineers - but I’ve heard the People team are looking to address this.

    Career development is a black box - again I heard that the People team are looking to address this aswell.

    Advice to Management

    Please don’t listen to complaints from people about not being active as management.

    The hands-off approach is better for the long-term and forces compromises between teams.