Monday, September 16, 2019

Kbank invests in InstaReM to boost cross-border services

Nov 22. 2018
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Kasikornbank’s venture capital arm Beacon Venture Capital (Beacon VC) has joined hands with several international investors in a Bt1.5-billion investment in InstaReM – a leading fintech start-up that provides cross-border payment services in more than 40 countries. 

Singapore-based InstaReM is expected to further improve Kasikornbank’s (KBank) efficiency in the transfer of retail funds, leading to a rapid growth in both transaction volumes and value, Beacon VC’s managing director Thanapong Na Ranong said.

He added that Beacon VC and Indonesian Telkomsel’s MDI Ventures have jointly invested in InstaReM – a fast-growing fintech start-up in Asean – which has also received funding from leading investors such as Vertex Ventures, Fullerton Financial Holdings, Global Founders Capital, GSR Ventures and SBI-FMO. 

“We have been following InstaReM for some time now and are happy to be part of their exciting journey,” Thanapong added. “The Series C round of investment totalling Bt1.5 billion is expected to close in January and the company aims to list on a stock exchange in 2021.”

Currently, inward and outward funds transfers in Thailand total 11.8 million transactions a year, valued at Bt2.15 trillion. Of these transactions, around one million are conducted via KBank, with a combined value of Bt400 billion a year.

Prajit Nanu, co-founder and CEO of InstaReM, said: “The promise we’ve made to our customers, from day one, is that we’ll always be transparent, and we’ll forever give them the best value we can to help them do more with their money. No matter where they are in the world, and no matter if they’re a business or an individual, we want to be their champions. That’s why we were one of the first Asian remittance providers to venture outside Asia, and that’s also why we’ve been able to secure this historic round of funding. 

“In less than four years, we have become the payment backbone for emerging markets for banks and other global financial institutions and have clients across almost all continents. We are still a young firm but a hungry one, this new round of funding enables us to accelerate growth by launching new products.”

InstaReM’s latest fundraising will add greater efficiency, boost growth in its existing markets and help it enter new markets like Japan and Indonesia, where it hopes to receive licences by yearend. This round of capital raising will also help InstaReM develop new products in response to the evolving requirements of customers, including small-scale businesses and retailers.

Last quarter, the company signed up with 20 new financial institutions, which will start using its service in the first quarter of 2019 at an expected monthly volume of Bt6 billion to Bt8 billion.


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