Singapore: soCash closes $400k seed round from angels

Visual of soCash homepage. July 2016

Singapore-based fintech startup soCash has raised a seed round of S$400,000 from a syndicate of global angel investors.

The proceeds from this investment will fund the acceleration of their product development and expanding their network to 1000 ‘cashpoints’ within the city-state.

soCash is currently deploying its smartphone application, which aimed to connect small shops into a scalable network for cash withdrawals. Eventually, it plans to become the ‘last mile’ for banking services and commerce, as part of a product roadmap that is aimed at working with banks to extend cash distribution beyond ATMs.

Rekha Hari, Managing Director of soCash, stated: “Contrary to the prevalent narrative, data from central banks shows that cash usage is growing globally. In singapore, demand for cash is growing at 9%. This consumer preference poses an expensive challenge for banks to meet this increase in demand for cash. soCash’s platform is a superior digital alternative for efficient access to cash.”

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In an official statement, the company claimed that ‘leading banks in Asia & USA’ were at various stages of engagement with soCash to integrate the software into their digital banking platforms.

Mrs Hari was previously a senior business analyst with NTT Communications, with her Linkedin profile stating that she has worked on projects for Citibank Private Banking handling solution delivery of an anti-money laundering (AML) optimisation project for its compliance technology department.

In an interview with DEALSTREETASIA in May, Mrs Hari explained the business model, saying: “Our business model – transaction fees and network monetization. soCash is significantly cheaper than ATM transaction, so banks pay us a transaction fee, which we share with the cashpoint. As we build our network of cashpoints across cities, we are building a last mile capability to banks & e-commerce companies.”

“Our pitch to banks is this. For large banks with existing ATM network, we can offload 25 per cent of their ATM volumes, specially in residential areas. For banks betting on fully digital banking models, our pitch is to make cash ubiquitous via soCash platform rather than investing in their ATM infrastructure,” she added.

According to Mrs Hari, the company will be expanding the venture to either Hong Kong or Malaysia, with long-term plans to expand to India and Indonesia once they have  a sufficient critical mass.

Also Read: This Singapore startup wants to convert every minimart into an ATM!

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.