Singaporean remittance startup Toast has raised S$1.2 million (US$850,000) in a seed funding round led by Aetius Capital and ACE & Company, a private equity firm also known for having invested in financial comparison site CompareAsia and online payments startup TransferWise. New York-based investment firm One Zero Capital also participated in the round.
Toast, which rebranded from CryptoSigma in July, uses blockchain technology to power remittances and is primarily targeting Southeast Asia.
The startup seeks to solve the numerous inefficiencies with the way money is sent by overseas workers, founder and CEO Aaron Siwoku, said.
“This is a local problem prevalent across the world,” Siwoku said. “We want to make Toast the most convenient way for overseas workers to remit money to their loved ones anywhere in the world.”
Toast will first target the Filipino community living in Singapore and Hong Kong, and then should open up to markets such as Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Nepal and Myanmar.
Toast, a Startupbootcamp Fintech Singapore alumnus, will have an Android app released in November. Consumers will be able to load their wallet using a local offline travel card or via bank transfer.
“Toast’s funding round puts them in a strong position for expansion in the large and growing Asian remittance market,” Steven Tong, Managing Director of Startupbootcamp FinTech, said.
“[The] Philippines is the third-largest remittance recipient globally, receiving more than US$28 billion in 2014. Toast’s solution is going to disrupt the traditional remittance industry by offering Filipino migrant workers a cheaper and more user-friendly solution.”