Abra, blockchain-based remittance service has raised $12 million in recently ‘heavily oversubscribed’ round led by Arbor Ventures, RRE Ventures and First Round Capital.
Founded in 2015 by former Netscape director Bill Barhydt, Abra is a startup developing a bitcoin powered remittance app that aims to bring together as many trusted ‘tellers’ or users to create a bitcoin-based Western Union type of service to allow users to exchange bitcoin faster, globally. “Abra is fully leveraging the potential of the technology by reducing friction in financial services. It’s not about bitcoin for the sake of bitcoin – it’s about how the technology can solve problems for consumers worldwide, even if they do not know what the blockchain is,” said Jim Robinson, general partners at RRE Ventures.
The users can find authorized tellers using a real-time map on Abra’s app, which is very similar to Uber’s map that help passengers locate their drivers. The startup makes money by taking a cut of 0.25% fee to the user when they transact with an Abra Teller, while the Tellers collect a suggested fee of 1.5%
With the new funds secured in this round, Abra plans to further build the functionality of its remittance app as well as support to widen the reach of its service. The app has planned to launch soon to its general public for the users all over the world to transfer funds denominated in any currency at a lesser price.
The bitcoin company uses self-settling short contracts built on the blockchain to prevent the fluctuations in the price for the users. Counter-parties, drawn from across the bitcoin economy, go long on the circumvent to divide the risk. Till date, the app company which has app for both iOS and Android, has raised a total funding of $14 million in total funding with the aim to ‘disrupt the global money transfer market.’