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Cross-border payments startup InstaREM raised US$20m in first close of series C round

It is gearing for an IPO in 2021.

InstaReM, a Singapore-based digital cross-border payments company, has secured US$20 million in the first tranche of its US$45 million Series C funding round, led by new investors MDI Ventures, the VC arm of Indonesia’s Telkom, and Beacon Venture Capital, the VC arm of Thailand’s KASIKORNBANK.

Existing investors, including Vertex Ventures, GSR Ventures, Rocket Internet and SBI-FMO Fund, have also joined the round.

InstaReM expects to make the final close of the round by January 2019, which will bring its overall funding till date to over US$63 million. The company also expects to launch an IPO in 2021.

The new financing will accelerate growth in InstaReM’s existing markets and enable it to enter new markets in Japan and Indonesia, where the company is expected to receive licenses by the end of this year. The company will also launch a new consumer and enterprise product in 2019.

Founded by Indian entrepreneur Prajit Nanu, InstaReM leverages latest technologies to help individuals and enterprises send money to their destinations quickly and at low cost. It serves larger institutional and corporate clients with its MassPay product, an international business payments platform with bulk and customised payments facility, multi-currency payments and accounts and a host of other time and cost-efficient payment features.

With regulatory licenses/approvals in Singapore, Australia, India, Europe, the US, Hong Kong, Canada and Malaysia and its global banking partnerships, InstaReM claims it is able to reach out to 3.21 billion consumer and business customers across 55-plus countries worldwide.

The fintech firm already powers payments for three of the top ten Southeast Asian Banks, and has presence across APAC, North America and Europe.

“We see that InstaReM has strong capability to enable cross-border payment and remittance between Indonesia and its international partners. By providing the lowest exchange rates among competing services, InstaReM provides significant value to both local and foreign migrant workers looking to transfer funds to their home countries and to local businesses looking to conduct trade with international parties with the hope that they can boost/stimulate international trade exports,” said Nicko Widjaja, CEO of MDI Ventures.

“With Indonesia’s fintech sector experiencing peak levels of growth, we believe that it is the ideal time for fintech companies, such as InstaReM, to focus on expansion throughout the country. As part of our thesis at MDI Ventures, we are keen to support InstaReM with their expansion in Indonesia and ASEAN through strategic partnership with various Telkom business units around the region,” he added.

In 2018, InstaReM partnered with Ripple, the leading enterprise blockchain network for global reach.

In March 2016, InstaReM raised US$5 million Series A round led by Vertex Ventures, with participation from Fullerton Financial Holdings and Global Founders Capital. A year later, it received another US$13 million towards its Series B round led by GSR Ventures, with participation from SBI-FMO Emerging Asia Financial Sector Fund, Vertex Ventures, Fullerton Financial Holdings, and Global Founders Capital.

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