Peer-to-peer (P2P) payments venture Kashmi, which operates across Singapore and Sri Lanka, has secured a seed investment of $497,000. Claiming to have an initial target of $425,000, Kashmi stated their seed round was oversubscribed.
According to the venture, the funds will be deployed in product development, market expansion in Southeast Asia, and the expansion of its sales & marketing team.
Kashmi allows users to sign up using their name, phone number and email address, enabling them to send or receive money to and from anyone, regardless of the bank affiliations. Kashmi accounts can be topped up with credit cards, debit cards or wire transfers and includes social features like an integrated chat and sharing feed, payment tracking and merchant payments.
A graduate of the pioneer batch of Startupbootcamp Fintech Singapore, it operates in a space similar to cohort member Toast, formerly CryptoSigma, which deals with money remittances by migrant workers.
Commenting on the investment, Markus Gnirck, global COO and co-foounder of Startupbootcamp Fintech, told DEALSTREETASIA: “It is great so see another Startupbootcamp FinTech alumni raising their seed round in Asia.”
Gnirck added “Kashmi has refined their product the last months and has shown their passion to make it easier to pay for consumers in Asia. After all FinTech should benefit customers and create a better banking experience – Kashmi is solving exactly that.”
In response to securing the seed investment, Rakhil Fernando, CEO of Kashmi, said, “We are extremely pleased and honoured to have generated such interest and trust among our investors and well-wishers at this very early stage of our growth. We see this funding as a real vote of confidence from industry players and seasoned investors who share our vision for innovation and believe in the long term growth potential of our company.”
The payments space in Singapore and the region is highly competitive, with many equity-backed ventures and corporates currently exploring the P2P payments space. Two startups competing in this space are migrant remittance payments venture Toast, integrated in-app payments enabler Fastacash, which enables payments within apps like WhatsApp and Facebook,
However, while it was initially incepted as a P2P payment mobile platform where “transactions take place within a free and unrestricted network with social media functions”, and initially described as “Facebook meets PayPal”, Kashmi has since evolved from when it was first accepted into Startupbootcamp Fintech.
Allegations were raised by sources that its business model has altered that places it in competition with cohort member Toast. This has created the spectre of a ‘conflict of interest situation’ within the portfolio of Startupbootcamp Fintech.
Asked to comment on this matter by DEALSTREETASIA, Gnirck observed: “Kashmi’s vision is to make peer 2 peer and cross boarder payments easier for consumers. Given the huge market opportunity in Asia we see also other players, like Toast, operating in a similar space and think that every company has different customer target segments.”