Multiple tech investors, including Ripple and Barclays, have
generously spent $1.7 million to support SendFriend, which happens to be a
Over the months, we have seen an array of crypto-based
ventures in the remittance niche, but in the recent year, SendFriend is the
latest and very reasonably funded project. Ripple has always taken a stance to
facilitate cross-border payments and about a year ago, we also witnessed that
the token was tested with Western Union to seek feasibility. Therefore, it is
not a surprise as to why Ripple is so heavily funding a remittance startup,
especially when it has announced to use XRP as the core currency for international
It is worth noticing that apart from the two tech giants
mentioned above, MIT Media Lab, 2020 Ventures, Mastercard Foundation, and 8
Decimal Capital also took part in this round of fundraising and it is pretty
substantial to prove the massive support behind SendFriend. Barclays also
earned its share through a tech accelerator program, called “Barclays, powered
by TechStars” and it was quite an honor for SendFriend to be accepted in the
program in September 2018.
According to the CEO and co-founder, David Lighton, all of
these funds will be utilized to conduct marketing, community engagement, and
hiring of staff for various product-related activities. Please note that the
venture was initially founded at MIT and the primary use case allows the
Philippine nationals in the US to send payments back home by using XRP tokens.
If you are curious about the working of settlements,
SendFriend elaborated the procedure and made it clear that the users (senders)
will select an amount to be transferred in USD. The backend will liquidize an
equivalent amount of XRP tokens which will be transferred to the other end of
the transaction. In the last stage, the XRP will be converted to PHP
(Philippine Peso) and the entire process would not take more than a couple of
seconds. Whereas, in traditional banking, it may take several days before the
receiver gets the money.
As the first launch site, SendFriend has chosen New Jersey,
but that’s not it. The venture does plan to expand to various parts of the
In an announcement, Ripple seemed pretty confident and
motivated to make this investment and of course, the reason is pretty
understandable. The co-founder of SendFriend, Lighton, also said that the
current banking statement is pretty outdated when it comes to efficiency (in
terms of time and cost). Talking about the specifics, Lighton clarified that
his venture will cut down transaction costs to roughly 65% of the original fee.
The credit goes to blockchain technology since it gets rid of all the
Moreover, the Government of Philippines also approved a bill, hence allowing the overseas workers to avail a massive discount on remittances (in between 10 to 15 percent) depending upon the total amount being sent.
Featured image via BigStock.