FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Fintech startup soCash raises US$600,000 from angel investors

Total funding is now at US$925,000.

The first fintech to receive the Financial Sector Technology & Innovation grant from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, soCash provides digital cash management platforms for banks. Hari Sivan, CEO of soCash, says banks spend US$300b per year on enabling cash circulation for consumers and businesses.

"People queuing up in front of ATMs is a common sight in Singapore. Our platform enables access to cash beyond ATMs and branches," he notes.

The startup recently raised US$600,000 from angel investors including veteran bankers and technologists. The funds will be used to boost the company’s sales team to carry out engagement with banks in Asia to expand its services regionally.

Sivan says the recent investment brings total funding to US$925,000, with soCash now working on its institutional round. The business was bootstrapped from savings of soCash's founders, whose aim is to circulate cash efficiently by making it social and/or peer to peer.

"We are a bunch of bankers with a passion for technology and digital innovations who found this problem big and meaningful enough to quit our decade-old careers in global banks. Most of us are in our 30’s. We were born in different parts of the world (India, Singapore, Europe), but our paths crossed in Singapore," shares Sivan.

They are bent on making soCash smarter than current cash management platforms like ATMs and cash recyclers, based on data-driven insights, to improve cash distribribution and liquidity management by creating the largest cash network in the world powered by mobile devices.

The platform enables users to withdraw cash from merchants such as neighbourhood shops by placing an order on the bank’s app, selecting a cashpoint nearby, and picking up the cash at the outlet. Sivan, who says the cashless narrative needs to be re-visited, notes that the goal is to enable convenient access to cash whilst eliminating the cost of cash processing for banks, especially in urban centres.

Sharing a pitch experience, Sivan recalls, "One of the senior bankers asked us if we can enable convenient access to cash for the elderly and mobility-challenged in Singapore’s housing estates. Her logic was that neighbourhood coffee shops and mama shops are trusted participants in the community and are obviously nearer than ATMs."

Sivan says it was an interesting and socially beneficial application of the soCash technology. "It was also an eye opener for us that Singaporean banks are really connected to community and they have the vision to come up with technology-led solutions relevant to the society."

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