Fastacash, a fintech startup, has raised $15 million in Series B funding led by Rising Dragon Singapore and includes Life.SREDA, UVM 2 Venture Investments LP and the existing investors. The company claims its one of the largest series B investments for a fintech company in Singapore.
Founded in 2012 by Shankar Narayanan, Fastacash serves as a platform that allows users to transfer money, airtime and other tokens of value, along with digital content, through social networks and messaging platforms whereby allowing secure and cost-effective transactions domestically and internationally. The company has partnered with other companies and brands in the payments, remittance, consumer products and social industries to take the technology to its end-users.
The idea for the startup cropped up from cofounder Narayanan whose daughter would always ask for his credit card details to make transactions. When he noticed she spent a lot of time in networking sites like Facebook and other social messaging app like Whatsapp, he decided to combine social and payments and make it simpler for people to make transactions.
“We are an agnostic hub that sits between the financial and social worlds providing transaction capabilities and connecting people. In short, we want to change the way people make payments and will continue to do so by making the process simpler, more convenient and social,” said Vince Tallent, CEO and chairman of the startup.
In 2014, it raised $4 million in an extended Series A round, led by Jagdish Chennai, a Principal of the Kewalram Chanrai Group and Golden Oriole Investments. Followed by the Series A funding raising $3 million led by Singapore-based Jungle Ventures, Spring SEEDS Capital and HK based Funding the Future (FTF Ltd), who had invested $1.5 million in 2012. Along with the current funding, the total funding received by the startup in $23.5 million.
Currently, Fastacash operates in India, Indonesia, Russia, Singapore and Vietnam. Now with the latest round of funds, the startup plans to widen its reach to new markets in the U.S, U.K, Europe and the Middle East, targeting the migrant population with the access to social media. It is also looking ahead to build a stronger grip in the world’s largest inward remittance and domestic markets like India and other Southeast Asian countries. “Our biggest opportunity to grow lies in closing more partnerships, breaking into new markets and in product innovation, ” said Tallent.
Rising Dragon Singapore CEO Eric Schaer said that growing access to social networks and the increase in mobile penetration serves as platform for vast opportunities, especially for the emerging markets. “Fastacash is leading the way with innovation that is making social payments a reality. We see tremendous potential in the startup to transform the way consumers transfer money, airtime and other forms of value,” he said in a statement.
The estimates of World Bank shows that market for international transfers would be $686 billion in 2015. Domestic money transfer is also estimated to be on the same scale whereas the global remittance flows are expected to boost $4.1% in 2016, compared to the 0.9% CAGR from 2013 to 2014.
When asked Tallent about the competition in the market he said, “We do not have a direct competitive set as we are not playing within the B2C space like other P2P players. Rather, we bring our core technology and social integration to our partners for them to enable social payments for their end customers. No one does what we do from a business model and package perspective.” The company, however, declined to disclose information on the company’s revenue or profitability.