Toast Founder and CEO Aaron Siwoku

Toast Founder and CEO Aaron Siwoku

Singapore-based money transfer application Toast has closed a seed round of SG$1.2 million (US$850,000), it announced today in an official release.

The round was led by Aetius Capital and also involved TransferWise investors ACE & Company, a global private equity firm.

The amount is SG$140,000 (US$100,000) higher than what the one-year-old startup said it was looking to raise when it spoke to e27 in July.

“We saw many inefficiencies with the way money is sent by overseas workers. This is a local problem prevalent across the world,” said Toast’s British Founder and CEO Aaron Siwoku. “We want to make Toast the most convenient way for overseas workers to remit money to their loved ones anywhere in the world,” he added.

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Toast is targetting the Filipino market in Singapore and Hong Kong for a start. It plans to open up remittance corridors to Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Nepal and Myanmar after the Singapore launch.

“Toast’s funding round puts them in a strong position for expansion in the large and growing Asian remittance market,” said Steven Tong, Managing Director of Startupbootcamp FinTech, which Toast had graduated from just two months ago.

“[The] Philippines is the third-largest remittance recipient globally, receiving more than US$28 billion in 2014. Toast’s solution is going to disrupt the traditional remittance industry by offering Filipino migrant workers a cheaper and more user-friendly solution,” said Tong.

Toast allows unbanked overseas foreign workers to easily load a smart phone application using a local offline travel card such as Nets Flashpay or EZ Link (both in Singapore) and send money to countries like the Philippines, Indonesia, India, and Bangladesh without having to queue at a traditional remittance agent.

The app can be downloaded via the Google Play store from November this year.