Remittance service SendFriend raises $1.7M

SendFriend, a remittance service helping people send money to the Philippines, today announced it has raised $1.7M in total capital from MIT Media Lab, Barclays, the Mastercard Foundation, Ripple, Techstars, Mahindra Finance, 2020 Ventures, and 8 Decimal Capital.

More than $45 billion in fees on remittance services, which often take three to five days days, was spent last year by the millions of migrants in the U.S. who send home more than $650 billion in remittances. SendFriend will launch with fees it says are 65 percent lower than the industry average.

Through a partnership with blockchain company Ripple, SendFriend leverages xRapid to create a seamless money transfer experience. XRP is used as a liquidity vehicle for cross-border payments, enabling SendFriend to circumvent the corresponding banking system and quickly convert USD to XRP to PHP. 

“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.”

“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,” said David Lighton, SendFriend co-founder and CEO. “This investment will allow us to build out our team, focus on community engagement, and marketing efforts.“  

Founded at MIT by a group of experienced individuals with roots at The World Bank, SendFriend was accepted into the Barclays Accelerator Program, Powered by Techstars, to further build out its customer-first solution.  

SendFriend plans to launch in New Jersey but will soon be available to OFWs in other states via desktop and mobile. Customers can now request early access and claim three fee-free transactions by visiting https://www.sendfriend.io/

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