Nigerian startup, SureRemit announced Thursday that it had raised $7 million via an initial coin offering (ICO) to roll out its digital voucher system that makes payments easier, cheaper and cashless.
SureRemit is a Nigerian based non-cash remittance platform with international merchants such as Amazon, Samsung, and Airtel. It had launched the ICO in a bid to raise funds for a blockchain-based remittance service.
The new service being launched will allow immigrants all over the world with Remit tokens to purchase digital vouchers that are redeemable for goods and services directly from local merchants at their specified destinations.
SureRemit’s new cryptocurrency removes the cash layer, reducing the cost of transfers and providing the sender some control and visibility over how the value is spent, the startup commented.
According to Laolu Samuel-Biyi, director of remittances at SureRemit, “international remittance transactions can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be, at least for non-cash value transfers which constitute about 40 percent of all transfers.”
He added: “In very many cases, immigrants and travelers just want to buy food or pay a bill for someone at home. Those transactions do not have the same risk profiles as cash transactions, and they should not be subjected to the same costs, timelines and procedures.”
Several prominent cryptocurrency investors, including Hashed, South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency fund, participated in the round, with SureRemit saying the fund’s decision to join in SureRemit’s pre-sale ICO signaled growing interest in the potential for cryptocurrency to further alleviate remittance challenges in emerging markets where most of the recipients remain largely disconnected from financial world.