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FINANCIAL SERVICES | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Singapore
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This app offers a fun way to transfer money at your fingertips

It now has over 10,000 registered users.

Cash just isn't efficient. Not all people have cash in hand when they need it, which leads to small loans between friends that are either forgotten or difficult to chase down. Other times people don't have exact change which leads to the same problem. These instances happen so often, but who really wants to go through the cumbersome process that is internet banking to sort out this type of debt?

As young people that hangout with friends, founders of mobile payment app Kashmi experience these issues everyday. They wanted a solution that could be at their fingertips at all times and that could be executed just as easily as sending a ‘WhatsApp’ to their friends. Hence the birth of Kashmi.

Kashmi is a mobile application that allows users to send or request money from each other instantly, for free. The application is designed to address the everyday inconveniences of cash and is expected to ease the difficulties associated with paying and reclaiming debts between peers.

While the core feature is the simple, social, real-time exchange of money, Kashmi sets itself apart by providing an experience allowing an individual to make payments with friends without disengaging from whatever they are doing at the time.

“Kashmi isn't just internet banking. It is a feature rich experience that is designed to fit seamlessly into a users' lifestyle. Registration takes only less than 30 seconds,” said co-founder Rakhil Fernando.

Rakhil explains that in addition to allowing users to send or request money, the app offers a fun, social payments feed as well options to remind friends about payment, split bills or request payments from multiple people in one click and even top-up mobile airtime. It will also soon include likes, comments and pictures features.

“We want Kashmi to be an all-in-one solution for people's personal finance needs,” said Rakhil.

According to Rakhil, the app now has over 10,000 registered users and over S$3,000,000 in gross aggregate transaction value since January this year with people using Kashmi to split bills at dinner, share rent and utilities or split cab rides, groceries or movie tickets.

“We even have tons of sports teams around Singapore using the application because managers are finally able to get match fees and club dues without having to chase people down for cash. We have tons of a weekly promotions too which means that, not only is the app free, you could actually make some decent money when you use the app,” he said.

 

The founding team

As a co-founding team that goes back a long way, as far back as high-school and even before, it was always at the back of their minds to work on something together.

“It's always great to achieve something with friends. At the end of the day though, we didn't want to jump into anything unless we were convinced that we were solving a real problem,” said Rakhil.

He shared that when the idea for Kashmi hit them, it was a unanimous decision to move ahead because it was an application that solved a problem that they faced frequently.

Rakhil, 34, serves as the CEO. He has almost a decade of experience in the private banking sector working for Credit Suisse and Coutts & Co. He is also a serial entrepreneur with records of both successes and failures. Some of his main businesses have spanned a number of industries including media, hospitality, and apparel. He has a degree in Aerospace Engineering from Embry Riddle University.

Mufadel Lukmanjee, 36, is the CTO. He has more than 10 years of experience in the software development field. He has developed stock exchanges around the world and even started his own software development company in Sri Lanka. He has a Masters degree from Harvard too.

The COO is 34-year old Rajinda Jayasinghe. He is a career academic. He has an undergraduate degree from Princeton and Masters degrees from Johns Hopkins and an MBA from NUS in Singapore. He worked for more than 5 years running operations for an international humanitarian organization during the Tsunami and during Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict. He also has experience in education both as a teacher and as VP for Asia for an online university startup.

 

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