#Asia Let’s make this cheaper: Overseas payment startup InstaReM raises US$5M from Vertex Ventures


The company was behind two per cent of total remittances sent from Australia to India over the last year


InstaReM, a fast-rising cross border payments company, is finding success by undercutting the cost of transaction fees and today the company announced it has raised a US$5 million investment led by Singapore’s Vertex Ventures.

Other participants in the round were Fullerton Financial Holdings (also Singaporean) and Global Founders Capital out of Germany.

An important use of the investment will be applying for licensing across the world. For example, the company is incorporated in Singapore but currently has not been given the green light to pursue cross-border payments out of the city. Currently, InstaReM can be used in Australia, Canada and Hong Kong.

The startup is in the process of applying for licensing in Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Luxembourg and parts of the US.

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“InstaReM’s fast, compliant and low cost money transfer solution has propelled it from an unknown brand to one of the corridor leaders in Australia (It manages about 2 per cent of all remittances sent from Australia to India). Our aim is to be the fastest money transfer operator to process USD 1 billion,” said InstaReM Co-founder Prajit Nanu in an official statement.

Rather than a fixed fee, InstaRem charges a percentage (usually lower than one per cent) of the sending amount. The average transaction size sent via the platform is US$1,800 — typically processed in just a few hours.

InstaReM will also use the investment to scale the product and technical team as well as entertain geographic expansion.

As for Vertex, the company cited InstaReM’s ability to integrate with banks and execute within the fintech space as reason for investing.

“Trying to do a startup in the Fintech space is not easy, as you may need more finance background than technology to manoeuvre through the complicated industry,” said Vertex Managing Director Chua Joo Hock.

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The company’s clients include individuals, SMEs and financial institutions.

“Our robust proprietary technology presents the opportunity for small and mid-sized banks and payment providers a solution to expand their product offering into the remittance space,” said InstaReM Co-founder Michael Bermingham.

Vertex Ventures is the venture capital arm of Temasek Holdings — a state fund of the Singapore government.




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