Recently, the funding round of SendFriend, remittance startup that aims to make sending money to the Philippines easier, has finished. The firm managed to raise $1.7 million from investors that included MIT Media Lab, Barclays, the Mastercard Foundation, Ripple, TechStars, Mahindra Finance, 2020 Ventures, and 8 Decimal Capital.
David Lighton, SendFriend co-founder and CEO, commented:
“We are humbled by the support of our investors, who share in our vision to reduce the costs and improve the experience for the millions of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who send money home to support their families.”
“This investment will allow us to build out our team, focus on community engagement, and marketing efforts.”
SendFriend is a remittance firm that strives to reduce the costs and improve the experience for the millions of overseas Filipino workers who send money home to support their families. With roots at The World Bank, MIT, MoneyGram, and Harvard Business School, SendFriend was accepted into the Barclays Accelerator Program and powered by TechStars.
Currently, SendFriend allows overseas Filipino workers to transfer US dollars to the Philippine peso. SendFriend calculated that last year alone US-based users of remittance services spent over $45 billion on fees for remittance services that usually take three to five days while sending home over $650 billion. According to the company, its fees are 65% lower than the industry average as it replaces the frictions and fees of the banking system.
Further, the company plans to serve overseas workers from the Philippines, using XRP and Ripple’s xRapid product for cross-border settlements.
“XRP is used as a liquidity vehicle for cross-border payments, enabling SendFriend to circumvent the corresponding banking system and convert USD to XRP to PHP [Philippine peso] in a matter of seconds.”
According to the press release, SendFriend is going to expand to the US, initially launching in New Jersey.
Yuan Ruan, the founder of 8 Decimal Capital, said:
“SendFriend has built strong partnerships along its supply chain, while developing a foundation to significantly minimise friction in the system. This is a highly competitive space with long-time incumbents, but we are confident in the success of SendFriend.”
Last month, SendFriend was among 13 new financial institutions that joined Ripple’s payment network RippleNet and brought the total number of customers to over 200.
For Ripple, the partnership with SendFriend is an excellent opportunity to expand its geography. Its xRapid-powered e-wallet and financial services firm Coins.ph has already partnered with UnionBank of Philippines to make it possible to use crypto ATMs to trade digital assets for Philippine Pesos.
Recently, Ripple also partnered with major UAE-based payments and foreign exchange company Finablr. Under the agreement, the blockchain-based technology of RippleNet enables Finablr to enjoy seamless cross-border payment between the firm and the largest bank of Thailand, Siam Commercial Bank, which is already a Ripple partner.
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