Dalelorenzo's GDI Blog
26Mar/210

Afriex raises $1.2M seed to scale its payments and remittances platform across Africa

Sending money from the U.S. to Nigeria can be a painstaking process. For remittance platforms like Western Union, it will cost a carry cost and make between one to five business dates for coin transmit from a U.S. debit card to enter a Nigerian bank account.

Crypto remittance stages are rising to the challenge of correcting these cross-border payment issues by reducing time and costs. Only yesterday, we talked about Flux, a Nigerian fintech solving this problem in the present YC W2 021 quantity. Today, another YC-backed startup, Afriex -- but from the Summer 2020 batch -- is raising a $1.2 million grain round.

The company founded by Tope Alabi and John Obirije in 2019 provides instant, zero-fee movements to Africans at home and in the diaspora. It allows users to deposit cash on the app, cast coin to a bank account or another user, and withdraw fund to a connected bank or debit card.

Like other crypto remittance stages, Afriex has built its business on stablecoins -- cryptocurrency backed by the dollar. In essence, the company buys cryptocurrency in one country and sells it in another to offer better exchange rates. This is in contrast to better-known platforms like Western Union and Wise that use traditional banking systems.

Last year while the startup graduated from YC, it claimed to be processing about $500,000 per month in busines fees and is applicable in over 30 countries. At the time, Afriex was only present in Nigeria and the U.S. But having started actions in Ghana, Kenya, and Uganda, Afriex claims to be processing millions of dollars each month. On the following website, though, Afriex states that customers can only send money to and from Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Canada, and the U.S.

With the new financing, the Lagos and San Francisco-based startup is looking to scale up by growing the team and expanding to other markets.

Pan-African VC firm Launch Africa preceded the seed round. Other investors include Y Combinator, SoftBank Opportunity Fund, Future Africa, Brightstone VC, Processus Capital, Uncommon Ventures, A$ AP Capital, Precursor Ventures, and Ivernet Holdings. Angel investors like Russell Smith, Mandela Schumacher-Hodge Dixon, Furqan Rydhan, and Andrea Vaccari also took part.

The SoftBank Opportunity Fund, an owned subsidiary of the SoftBank Group, targets founders of color in the U.S. moving early-stage startups. Since launching in June 2020, it invests in 22 startups and Afriex seems to be the only one catering to a adjust of users in the US and another continent.

SoftBank opens $100 M+ Opportunity Growth Fund to invest in benefactors of shade

This is due to Alabi's upbringing as an immigrant child who has had a mix of both natures. It was difficult to send money to Nigeria and its own experience as a blockchain make at Consensys stimulated him realize he could solve a problem.

“We would go back home every two years and even then, I would always take note of what was missing and what could be enhanced. I would find myself having to pay for foreign expenses with coin that was sitting in a US bank account, ” said Alabi. “Traditional remittance business were so gradual and costly that I knew I could do it better with crypto. Remittance is the best and most important use case for crypto. Our goal is to build the world's largest remittance firm, starting with emerging markets.”

Read more: feedproxy.google.com

16Mar/210

Razorpay looks at $2 billion valuation

Mumbai: Fintech startup Razorpay is in talks with its existing investor Singapore's sovereign investment funds GIC and others to raise $150 -2 00 million in a financing round that could see its valuation roughly double to$ 2 billion in less than six months, three parties privy to the matter told The Economic Times. That would be one of the fastest increases in valuation for an Indian startup, signalling the rising investor interest in digital payments and the overall financial services sector, which is increasingly moving online.“There could be other new investors likewise looking to come in, but Razorpay’s existing investors such as Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital will likely participate along with GIC, ” said a person privy to the deal details.The sharp increase in valuation is due in large part to the uptick in digital business in recent months as the Covid-1 9 crisis has propagandized businesses--small and large--to adopt online fees as policy options, manufacture experts said.“The investor sentiment is favourable for fintech houses as they can command strong valuations due to a big push towards digital remittances and financial services in India, ” another person in know of the development said.The Bengaluru-based startup entered the sought-after unicorn club in October, where reference is caused $100 million at a its evaluation of precisely over$ 1 billion, in a round led by GIC and venture capital firm Sequoia Capital. The round too watched participation of existing investors Ribbit Capital, Tiger Global, Y-Combinator and Matrix Partners.Razorpay and GIC didn’t immediately is submitted in response to queries emailed by ET on the potential fundraise. 8120056 9Expansion of Pays PlatformThe pays "providers " assists jobs automate collectings through its gateway busines, while also helping small businesses oversee coin spurt. It partners with large-scale online sellers, such as Swiggy, Zomato and Ola, while also providing remittances services to over five million small-minded merchants.People aware of the making in the company said that Razorpay could use the fresh asset to expand its fees platform, seeing further rise in 2021 amid a marked shift towards cashless fees. “Another area where the firm would look to strengthen its technology would be in the areas of fraud analytics and security boasts on its pulpit, ” the person said.Founded by Harshil Mathur and Shashank Kumar, Razorpay also guides a neo-banking platform RazorpayX, which assists merchants loped chequing account and access recognition from marriage banks. As of January, RazorpayX was treating credits worth Rs 250 crore each month.Mathur had told ET that the conglomerate has ambitions to scale its credit disbursement to Rs 500 crore each month by the second half of monetary 2022. The company expects RazorpayX and Razorpay Capital, its lending horizontal, to contribute 35% of its all revenues, Mathur had said.The fintech startup has raised $206.5 million in four investment rounds since its inception in 2014. Prior to the opening of the $ 100 million round in 2020, the house had raised $75 million in series C funding in 2019 led by Ribbit Capital and Tiger Global.Razorpay recently captivated further consideration of the Enforcement Directorate owing to a proliferation of unauthorised Chinese lend apps squandering its gateway to accept payments from its borrowers.ET in January had reported that a significant number of unauthorised lend apps signalled by investigative authorities were exercising the services offered of Razorpay at the time along with other remittance gateways. The busines took down several hundreds of such merchants from its pulpit, it said in a statement to ET .* An earlier edition of the storey said the Reserve Bank of India has scrutinised Razorpay and that 95% of unauthorised lend apps were consuming their services. The companionship has refuted the information collected. We have, therefore, formed changes to the story to reflect this, as these items couldn't be verified separately, immediately.

Read more: economictimes.indiatimes.com