- A new fintech just entered the digital finance space and it reportedly wants to target the Filipino community in the United States
- SendFriend signed a partnership deal with Ripple Labs to make its global money transfer service more seamless
- The brand notes that migrants in the US spend over $45 billion in remittance fees per year
Fintech newbie SendFriend just raised $1.7m to fund its expansion overseas. Described by fintech enthusiasts as the smartest way to transfer money internationally, the brand is said to be targeting the Filipino diaspora in the United States, one of the largest migrant group in the country.
The Filipino community in the US is huge, according to SendFriend. Based on 2018 data from the US census, there are currently over four million Filipinos in the country and many of them regularly send money home despite the high overseas transfer rates. The service, according to reports, will enable the diaspora to send American dollars to Philippine pesos at the lowest possible rate.
SendFriend’s funding comes from some of the world’s best-known brands. This includes Barclays, MIT Media Lab, Mastercard Foundation and Ripple. Mahindra Finance, 8 Decimal Capital and 2020 Ventures have also invested in the company.
The startup entered the remittance market just in time because migrants based in the United States spent over $45 billion in remittance fees last year. The United Nations told the BBC in 2017 that the industry average is too high but little was done by governments to address the problem.
According to the company, migrants in general send a little over $650 billion in remittances every year. The company notes the $45 billion is too much and added in its press release that the brand will charge fees that are 65% cheaper than the industry average. SendFriend has the capability to eliminate delays and added costs caused by the banking system.
Through the deal it signed with American blockchain company Ripple, the brand will be able to use Ripple’s technology to provide a seamless cross-border transfer experience to would-be customers. The company will be using xRapid, reports say. It is also noted by SendFriend that XRP will be used in its platform to circumvent the banking system. The route, according to the company, will be from USD to XRP and finally to PHP.
“SendFriend has built strong partnerships along its supply chain”, Yuan Ruan, the Founder of 8 Decimal said. Ruan also notes that the new fintech brand will significantly minimise friction. Ruan is said to be excited about the project and confident that it will be a success.
“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”, said David Lighton, one of SendFriend’s co-founders and the company’s current Chief Executive Officer.
“This investment will allow us to build out our team, focus on community engagement, and marketing efforts”, Lighton added.
SendFriend was built by experts from MIT and its core team is composed of individuals who used to work for the World Bank and remittance giant MoneyGram.
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