Remittance company SendFriend announced that it has raised $1.7 million from investors MIT Media Lab, Barclays, the Mastercard Foundation, Ripple, Techstars, Mahindra Finance, 2020 Ventures, and 8 Decimal Capital.
The investment funding will allow SendFriend to better enable Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) to safely transfer USD to PHP at the lowest possible rates.
Last year, more than $45 billion in fees was spent by the millions of migrants in the U.S. who send home more than $650 billion in remittances. SendFriend’s fees are 65 percent lower than the average rate.
“We are humbled by the support of our investors, who share in our vision to reduce the costs and improve the experience for the millions of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) who send money home to support their families,” David Lighton, SendFriend co-founder and chief executive officer, said in a press release. “This investment will allow us to build out our team and focus on community engagement marketing efforts.”
In addition, SendFriend is leveraging Ripple’s xRapid to create a seamless money transfer experience that enables the remittance company to convert USD to XRP to PHP in a matter of seconds.
“SendFriend has built strong partnerships along its supply chain, while developing a foundation to significantly minimize friction in the system. This is a highly competitive space with longtime incumbents, but we are confident in the success of SendFriend,” said Yuan Ruan, Founder of 8 Decimal Capital. “SendFriend has a good combination of an experienced team, large $650 billion remittance market, investors that provide more than just capital, and a growth strategy focused on more than revenue from transactions, including APIs and white-label solutions.”
Founded at MIT, SendFriend was accepted into the Barclays Accelerator Program to further build out its customer-first solution. The company has plans to launch in New Jersey, and will soon be available to OFWs in other states via desktop and mobile.