Founded in early 2014, Coins is a mobile-first, branchless, blockchain-based platform that provides consumers with direct access to basic financial services such as remittances, bill payments, and mobile airtime.
Several notable investors also joined in the funding round, such as Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Pantera Capital, Digital Currency Group, Wavemaker Labs, Global Brain, BeeNext, and Rebright Partners.
Amongst Coins’s investors are also Kickstart Ventures and Ideaspace Foundation, the investment arms of Globe Telecom and Smart Communications, respectively, the Philippines’ biggest telecommunications companies.
Coins disclosed it will use the funding to further expand access to basic financial services to unbanked individuals in the Philippines and throughout Southeast Asia.
Quona Capital partner Ganesh Rengaswamy said Coins is collaborating with key ecosystem players to architect a new financial and payment infrastructure in Southeast Asia.
“Its innovative technology and use of blockchain allow Coins to enable digital access, cut costs, and improve the quality of financial services for the unbanked and underserved across Southeast Asia. We are excited to support this mission,” Rengaswamy said.
In order to extend its services, Coins has partnered with a multitude of banks, financial institutions and last-mile retail outlets, spanning a network of over 22,000 cash disbursement and collection locations in the Philippines alone.
“In the Philippines, more people have a Facebook account than a bank account. We’d like to make access to financial services as easy and approachable as getting a Facebook account,” said Coins co-founder and CEO Ron Hose.
Coins co-founder and CTO Runar Petursson said the company gears for new business partnerships within the year.
“We are very excited to have such a great network of partners behind us who share our vision of increasing financial inclusion. In the coming months, we will continue to build new partnerships with banks, financial institutions, and retailers to connect customers across Southeast Asia with best-in-class financial services,” Petursson said.
Coins reported more than 60 per cent of Southeast Asia’s population of 600 million remains unbanked, and less than 5 per cent have a credit card. At the same time, mobile internet penetration is rapidly increasing and bringing millions of people online every month.
Coins claimed it has been able to capitalize on this technological shift by delivering everyday financial services through its mobile platform. To date, the company has signed up over 500,000 users.
Leveraging the blockchain has enabled Coins to connect its services to partners with a presence in over 40 countries, and offer instant, low-cost settlement of cross-border payments and remittances. For overseas workers who are currently paying 6-8 per cent to send funds through companies like Western Union, this means a savings of up to 80 per cent in fees.