In a completion of its Series A funding, Singapore-based technology company, fastacash, has raised US$3 million, which it will be using for expansion into Europe and Asia. fastacash, received funding from Jungle Ventures, SPRING SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of SPRING Singapore, and Hong Kong-based Funding the Future (FTF).
fastacash is the second payment platform to announce having received funding from Jungle Ventures in the last two days. Yesterday, alternative mobile payment platform, POKKT, announced closure of the seed round with Jungle Ventures pooling in an undisclosed amount.
The peer-to-peer payments solution provider plans to launch in Indonesia and Russia in the “coming months” and states that it has partnered with Indonesian payment service provider (PSP), Doku, a pioneer in the electronic payments industry offering one-stop Internet payment services. In Russia too fastacash says that it has partnered with international payments and money transfer system, UNISTREAM.
Answering to questions from e27 on email, Vince Tallent, Chairman & CEO, fastacash, said, “Due to the dynamics of the market, Asia presents a number of opportunities within the various verticals we are focusing on, be it remittance, or partnerships with banks, brands, etc. Also, we are a Singapore-based company which automatically makes Asia our hub.”
Quoting an eMarketer report “Worldwide Social Network Users: 2013 Forecast and Comparative Estimates”, an official release from fastacash said that there will be 1.73 billion users of social networks in 2013 and by 2017, and the global social network audience will total 2.55 billion.
Quoting another report – WorldPay whitepaper – the release put the expected growth of alternative ePayment market at a CAGR of 13% by 2015. Alternative ePayment refers to payment methods used as an alternative to credit card payments, such as real-time bank transfer, offline credit transfer, direct debits, eWallets, paper-based payments and mobile payments.
fastacash, while currently has only four partners, yet Tallent is confident that having launched the services in UK recently, the company is “seeing the right level of traction on the service.” For sure, the company is looking beyond UK, Indonesia and Russia, and it is on a partnership signing spree, which Tallent said, will be announced soon.
Tallent though didn’t share any specific target dates for getting even, but he was sure that the company’s focus on driving growth and its business model will allow it “to drive profitability fairly quickly.”
fastacash, claims to have developed a patent pending link generation technology that allows individuals or companies to transfer value, along with digital content (photos, videos or audio messages), through social networks and messaging platforms, enabling secure and cost-effective transactions domestically and internationally. The transferable value can be in the form of money, electronic coupons, airtime or other tokens of value. It also claims security to be the core of the company, which puts the links generated “under multiple layers of built-in security measures, including limited one-time use, specified expiration date and password protection.”
As a technology enabler, fastacash is looking to provide know-how and expertise to companies, including banks, remittance service providers, mobile operators, social networks, gaming companies and consumer brands.
Amit Anand, Managing Partner, Jungle Ventures, was confident that fastacash will do well and was entering the market at the right time. “The concept of transferring value through social networks is unique and represents huge market potential given the increasing dominance of social platforms in people’s lives,” Anand was quoted as saying in the release.
He was confident that the company’s technology is going to change how people transfer value.
So how does fastacash work? The idea, as per fastacash grew out of needing a simple way to send money — Be it to a daughter who is in the same city, or to parents living in another country.
The website puts the idea in following words, “Our co-founder’s daughter was always asking him for his credit card. At the same time, he noticed his daughter spent a lot of time on social and messaging platforms. He too was using these networks for keeping in touch with his friends and family. This got him thinking. How could he combine social and payments?
“Given he would send money home to India every month, he was aware of the high costs of the existing services. What was available was impersonal, transactional and not very convenient. He imagined a service that would be easy on the pocket, simple to use, convenient and allowed people to continue doing what they do on social networks with their friends and family.
“And fastacash was born…”
So how does it work? All, users (currently, restricted to UK residents) have to do is create a fastacash account, fill in their details, select who they want to send money to from their friend list, add the amount and click send! The beneficiary receives a notification via email or through social media. The funds are directly transferred into the beneficiary’s bank account. fastcash charges a small fee of £1 for upto £100 sent; £2 for £101 – £200; £3 for £201 – £300 and £4 for amounts larger than £300. But, as of now, it has a cap of £250 that can be sent on a single day. There is no fee on receiving money though.
For the records, the company raised US$1.5 million in 2012 during the seed round led by Funding the Future (FTF).