Nigeria-based non-cash remittance platform SureRemit has raised US$7 million via an initial coin offering (ICO) to roll out its digital voucher system that makes payments easier and cheaper.
The new service being launched will allow immigrants all over the world with Remit tokens to purchase digital vouchers that are redeemable for goods and services directly from local merchants at their specified destinations.
Several prominent cryptocurrency investors, including Hashed, South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency fund, participated in the round, with SureRemit saying the fund’s decision to join in SureRemit’s pre-sale ICO signalled growing interest in the potential for cryptocurrency to further alleviate remittance challenges in emerging markets where recipients remain largely disconnected from financial markets.
SureRemit’s new cryptocurrency removes the cash layer, reduces the cost of transfers and provides the sender some control and visibility over how the value is spent, the startup said.
“International remittance transactions can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be, at least for non-cash value transfers which constitute about 40 per cent of all transfers” said ‘Laolu Samuel-Biyi, director of remittances at SureRemit.
“In very many cases, immigrants and travelers just want to buy food or pay a bill for someone at home. Those transactions do not have the same risk profiles as cash transactions, and they should not be subjected to the same costs, timelines and procedures.”