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.