#FundingFriday: A Singapore-based Company that Bagged a Million Dollar Funding
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Funding is the agony of every business founder. Starting a business is not as big a headache as much as accumulating funds for your business is. Sounds familiar? Well, the case is true but many businesses always pave their way through this quintessential conflict and break through big brackets to get funding. The latest to join this is InstaReM, a Singapore based cross-border digital payments business that bagged a whopping amount in Series C round of funding. It raised a whopping $20 million dollars. Entrepreneur India spoke to InstaReM’s co-founder and CEO, Prajit Nanu to know all about the funding that is creating waves across the continent.
A Funding Aimed at Expansion
It is because of investors such as Vertex Ventures, GSR Ventures, Rocket Internet and SBI-FMO Fund, that InstaReM could raise $18million in the earlier two rounds of funding. So then where does it take the company from here? Prajit Nanu has his plans all set and is eyeing top markets, “It will help InstaReM to accelerate growth in its existing markets and enable it to enter new markets in Japan and Indonesia, where it is expected to receive licenses by the end of this year.” He further added that this funding will also enable InstaReM to launch a new consumer and enterprise product in 2019.
Convincing the Investors
It is all a game of the investors at the end of the day. But the big question is what does it take to convince the investors? He simply states, “With this funding, we have created a unique payment mesh in Asia, which is being leveraged by financial institutions, SMEs and individuals to make fast low-cost cross-border payments.” InstaReM’s list of achievements is long. They have developed a MassPay product, an international business payments platform with bulk and customized payments facility, multi-currency payments and accounts and a host of other time and cost-efficient payment features, they have also acquired regulatory licenses and approvals in Singapore, Australia, India, United States, Hong Kong, Canada and Malaysia. Their extensive global banking partnerships are such that it enables them to reach to over 3.21 billion consumer and business customers across 55+ countries worldwide. InstaReM already powers payments for three of the top ten Southeast Asian Banks. “These achievements – along with the company’s aggressive growth plans – convinced the investors (existing as well as new ones) to participate in the first-close of Series C round of funding,” quips Nanu.
Challenges in the Ecosystem
No ecosystem comes without its set of challenges. Nanu points out a very important fact. The global market for remittances is over US$ 600 billion and a huge chunk of these remittances flow into the developing economies. Unfortunately, migrants from developing nations end up paying up to 7-10% in fees and hidden charges to send money to their families. He further adds, “Around 90% of cross-border money transfers and remittances are still effected via traditional methods that entail higher costs due to legacy money transfer infrastructure. This is the problem we are looking to address.”
But how do they plan to achieve this? “With the deeper penetration of the internet and internet-enabled communication devices, the future is going to be digital. We are here to disrupt the remittance space by leveraging the power of the internet and offering remittance service to migrants at the lowest possible charges.”
Plans for the Future
No funding is complete without a concrete future plan. So what is the plan of action for the next quarter or decade? Currently, InstaReM is investing in areas like product development, technology, marketing and sales, customer service, and human resources across our existing markets to acquire and grow business. To further grow our business, InstaReM is looking to acquire licenses in some of the high-traffic corridors in Asia-Pacific as well as other parts of the world. “Apart from the individual remittances, we are also targeting the institutional market for volumes growth,” he declares before signing off.