Philippine remittance startup SendFriend secures $1.7m funding

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

Philippines-focused blockchain remittance startup SendFriend has raised $1.7 million from eight investors including MIT Media Lab, Barclays, the Mastercard Foundation, Ripple, Techstars, Mahindra Finance, 2020 Ventures, and 8 Decimal Capital.

It aims to enable Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to securely transfer USD to PHP at the lowest rate available, according to an official release.

The funds raised will be used to build out the team, focus on community engagement, and marketing efforts, according to SendFriend co-founder and CEO David Lighton.

Through a partnership with blockchain company Ripple, SendFriend leverages xRapid to create a seamless money transfer experience.

“SendFriend has a good combination of an experienced team, large $650-billion remittance market, investors that provide more than just capital, and a growth strategy focused on more than revenue from transactions including APIs and white-label solutions,” said Yuan Ruan, Founder of 8 Decimal Capital.

Founded in 2017, SendFriend claims to offer a secure, intuitive, and low-fee solution that reduces the cost of remittance payments by 65 per cent from the industry average.

The blockchain-based startup reported that more than $45 billion in fees on remittance services, which often take 3-5 days, was spent last year by the millions of migrants in the US who send home more than $650 billion in remittances.

It plans to launch in New Jersey in the US before expanding its presence to other states.

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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.