Coins, Southeast Asia’s blockchain-enabled digital financial service provider, has secured a $5-million series A extension led by Naspers Ventures, bringing the total amount of its series A to $9.4 million to date.
This additional investment follows its series A funding round led by Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund in October last year.
The new investment will be used to accelerate its regional growth and allow Coins to establish additional cash-based services and partnerships to serve its customers, the company said on Wednesday.
Coins was founded in early 2014 to enable people, including those without a bank account, to access financial services directly from their phones. It provides a wide range of financial services including remittances, mobile air-time, bill payments and online shopping with over 100,000 merchants.
“Coins has become a key component of our customers’ everyday lives, allowing them to do everything from sending payments to shopping online,” said Ron Hose, CEO of Coins. “With Naspers Ventures, we’ve gained a great partner in our mission to democratize financial services by making them easily accessible and usable by anyone.”
It is primarily operated in the Philippines and Thailand. It claims that it has connected with over one million previously unbanked customers on the platform with a monthly double-digit growth.
“We’ve seen quite healthy growth rates in the adoption of bitcoin amongst our users. The bitcoin blockchain is particularly well suited to solve issues around remittances due to its faster transaction times and lower costs. We’ve been able to lower remittance costs from the typical 6-8 per cent to about 2-3 per cent using the blockchain and have seen significant traction from users doing precisely this,” Justin Leow, Head of Business Operations at Coins, said to DEALSTREETASIA via email.
He cited that more than 60 per cent of Southeast Asia’s population remains unbanked largely due to structural reasons and the expensive nature of traditional financial services. “We see our platform as a scalable solution that is able to work in many of the developing countries in the region to address this need,” he added.
The company also appointed James Caviness, vice president and chief product officer of Naspers business PayU, as a new board member.
Naspers Ventures is a division of Naspers Group, a multinational media and internet group with technology investments and operations in more than 130 markets. Last week, India’s fastest growing digital credit platform PaySense announced that Naspers also participated its $5.3-million series A round.