Singapore based international remittance payments startup, InstaRem announced on Wednesday that it has raised $5 million in a Series A round led by Vertex Ventures. The company claims to charge lower fees than banks and traditional remittance services to disrupt this largely technologically alienated market segment.
Headquartered in Singapore, the company offers amazing exchange rates for money transfer in Asia, especially to India. It’s exchange rates are typically less than one percent and the firm promises transfers in a day, if not the same day. The service first started out in Australia and according to co-founder and CEO Prajit Nanu, approximately 2 percent of the country’s payments pathway to India has been hosted by InstaRem in just over one year of operations.
Although there are similar services that offer better exchange rates, transactions could take days to process. That’s what InstaRem is trying to overcome with quick transfers.
The latest investment was a Series A round led by Vertex Ventures. Other participants include Fullerton Financial Holdings, an investment fund that is a subsidiary of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek and existing investor Global Founders Capital.
Going against traditional methods, InstaRem works with mid-size banks that already trade in overseas currencies. The company boasts a 60 percent repeat trade and 80 percent of new customer accounts make a transfer within the first five days of registering, according to Nanu.
InstaRem currently has offices in Sydney, Singapore, Mumbai and New Jersey. Nanu aims to pump up the volumes of $100 million per month before the end of the year. It is now aiming to provide services in remote locations like Nepal and Bhutan.
Currently, InstaRem holds financial licenses in Australia, Hong Kong and Canada. Rumours suggest that it is in the process of applying in Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Luxembourg and a number of US states. And even though the company is expanding globally, Nanu adds that the focus will be on Asian consumers.