A bitcoin startup known simply as “Coins” has set a new financial record by raising over $5 million in a Series A funding round. Executives claim the money will be used to bring basic monetary services to unbanked populations in Southeast Asia.
Funding efforts were led by the Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund, while other organizations involved include the Digital Currency Group, Globe Telecom, and Smart Communications, two of the largest global telecommunication companies in the Philippines. Leading Accion partner Ganesh Rengasway explained:
“Coins is collaborating with key ecosystem players to architect a financial and payment infrastructure in Southeast Asia… [The] use of blockchain allows Coins to enable digital access, cut costs, and improve the quality of financial services for the unbanked and underserved.”
He also explained that Coins’ partnership with telecom companies would likely lead to further developments of mobile apps, and their services will be available via smartphones, which have become particularly widespread throughout Asia over the last five years.
Coins was founded two years ago in 2014, and currently operates predominately in the Philippines and Thailand. Among the financial services they offer include real-time remittance services and mobile wallets. The company also allows users to pay their bills and purchase goods with their cell phones. The company has joined hands with several banks, and operates via blockchain technology.
Presently, the company is witnessing increased demands in remittance services. Coins boasts over half-a-million users in this department, and claims fee cuts by nearly 80 percent, making them among the most popular havens for remittances throughout the Philippines, a country that has become the “third largest recipient of remittances in the world” according to one source.
Since last month, Asia has become a magnet for funding records and financial startups. Four weeks ago, Indian startup company UnoCoin raised over $1.5 million in a pre-Series A funding round to bring bitcoin and digital currency services to several hundred thousand clients.