SoCash, a Singapore-based fintech startup, has raised $6 million in Series B funding led by Glory Ltd, a Japanese manufacturer of money handling machines.
The other participating investors are SC Ventures, the venture arm of Standard Chartered Bank; and Temasek-backed venture capital firm Vertex Ventures. SoCash last raised $5.5 million for its Series A round from Vertex Ventures in August 2018.
According to a statement, soCash will use the fresh funds to grow its distribution network in Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong, having recently acquired regulatory clearances in all three markets. Moving forward, it will aggressively hire across all three markets, in order to cater to demands from virtual and digital bank players looking for a smarter distribution alternative to branches and ATMs.
Hari Sivan, co-founder & CEO of soCash said: “We started soCash to make cash circulation efficient. Our platform has now evolved to become the only network that converts neighbourhood shops into virtual branches. With the emergence of virtual banks and open banking, our network is well equipped to offer sales & distribution with flexibility and massive scale.”
Launched in 2018, soCash started as an app allowing bank customers to withdraw cash from stores as they would at conventional ATMs, without the need for card and pin.
Its technology directly plugs into the banks’ APIs, allowing users to place a cash order via the soCash app and select a partner merchant to collect the cash from, while the app deducts the selected amount from the customer’s account.
Today, SoCash’s network platform comprises over 1,400 shops across Singapore and it is building its network in Malaysia and Indonesia with retail chains like SPH Buzz, U Stars supermarket, iECON stores, U Mart, 7-Eleven and HAO Mart. Its partner banks in Singapore include ICBC, Standard Chartered, DBS and POSB.
The investment by Tokyo-listed Glory Ltd is seen as a move to tap a growing market of consumers, retailers and banks who are reflecting new habits of drawing and using cash – whether via mobile devices or brick and mortar stalls.
“GLORY is a global leader in cash processing and retail automation, and we believe that the current supply chain of cash needs to transform as the transportation of cash across large distances costs billions of dollars each year, a cost largely passed on to consumers,” said Minoru Higashiyama, leader of the long-term Vision Project Team at GLORY.
“soCash’s approach of connecting retailers, banks & consumers on a platform for cash circulation is a perfect fit to GLORY’s hardware & IoT business,” Higashiyama added.
Founded in 1944, Glory is one of the world’s pioneers in currency processing machines. It also manufactures, sells and maintains a variety of machines including currency terminal devices, vending machines, open teller systems, and coin/banknote recyclers. It serves 100 countries globally across financial, retail, amusement and gaming sectors.