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.