SureRemit, a non-cash remittance platform majority-owned by Africa’s largest fintech holding company, GreenHouse Capital, has raised $7 million on the initial coin offering (‘ICO’) market.
Several prominent cryptocurrency investors including Hashed, South Korea’s largest cryptocurrency fund participated in the round. Hashed has previously backed several notable blockchain and blockchain-enabled projects including Airswap, Ethereum, and Simple Token. The fund’s decision to join in SureRemit’s pre-sale ICO signals growing interest in the potential for cryptocurrency to further alleviate remittance challenges in emerging markets where recipients remain largely disconnected from financial markets.
Following the lead of BitPesa the pioneers of using blockchain for remittances in Africa who have raised $10M funding to date, SureRemit is a non-cash remittance platform using blockchain technology to help immigrants earmark and send funds home. Using a digital voucher platform and network of local merchants across African and other emerging markets, SureRemit offers an affordable, non-cash alternative for sending money to family and friends at home. SureRemit charges users 0% transaction fees, making it a cheaper option than Moneygram and other remittance services, which charge an average of 7.45% in transaction fees.
The platform also gives the sender visibility and control over what the remittances can be put towards by specifying use-cases: digital vouchers from specific local merchants can be purchased and settled instantly on the SureRemit platform. Whether funds are used for utility bills, medical treatment, or groceries, SureRemit ensures that sending a few hundred dollars to family is not longer accompanied by a barrage of costly fees. Using blockchain, SureRemit can bypass the traditional banking system and connect customers directly to local merchants, who pay a small commission fee on each transaction.
“The implications of growth capital outside of equity financing is huge. It means SureRemit can scale its operations without additional capital from existing shareholders. SureRemit is just one of our 10 fintech-enabled portfolio companies that can potentially leverage blockchain to address a specific market gap, particularly in Africa. We’re happy to take the lead on blockchain and cryptocurrency implementations on the continent,” says Kelechi Nwokocha, a member of the investment team at GreenHouse Capital.
GreenHouse Capital emerges as a pioneer in blockchain solutions for Africa
This development builds on GreenHouse Capital’s focus on identifying new ways for blockchain and cryptocurrency to transform African markets. In collaboration with current and prospective portfolio companies and public institutions, GreenHouse Capital plans to harness blockchain technology to accelerate Africa’s growth via the ICO market.
Since spinning off from Venture Garden Group in 2016, GreenHouse Capital has amassed investments in 14 leading technology companies, including mobile lending company Mines.io, human ATM network provider ESL, and Appzone, a noted African banking platform provider. In 2017, portfolio companies Flutterwave and Helium Health raised millions of dollars in growth capital from international investors including Greycroft Partners, PayPal, and Y Combinator.