Coins.ph, a mobile bitcoin-based financial services platform operating in the Philippines and Thailand, has raised $5 million in a Series A extension led by Naspers Ventures, a division of Naspers Group, one of the largest technology investors in the world.
Naspers is a global internet and entertainment group based in South Africa and operating in more than 130 countries. It has invested in several successful companies such as Tencent, Flipkart, Souq.com, and specializes in emerging e-commerce and consumer business startups.
Coins.ph’s previous Series A funding round, which took place in October 2016, also raised $5 million and was led by the Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund, the first global fintech fund for the underserved, sponsored by Accion, a pioneer in global financial inclusion. Coins.ph have raised a total of $10 million from ten investors in its Series A to date, including well-known investors like Digital Currency Group and Pantera Capital.
Founded in early 2014 by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Runar Petersson and Ron Hose, Coins.ph is a mobile financial platform connecting more than 300 million people in Southeast Asia who are currently out of reach for traditional banking services. Their platform utilizes existing retail infrastructure for deposits and withdrawals, cutting down on one of the biggest cost components of traditional retail banking. They now process thousands of transactions per day, including remittances, bills payment, mobile top-ups, and online shopping with virtual credit card payments. Their Philippines operation is based in Manila, while their Thailand extension is based in Bangkok.
“Coins has become a key component of our customers’ everyday lives, allowing them to do everything from sending payments to shopping online,” said Ron Hose, CEO of Coins.
“With Naspers Ventures, we’ve gained a great partner in our mission to democratize financial services by making them easily accessible and usable by anyone. We are extremely excited to be working together with them to build a more financially inclusive future.”
The effect that financial inclusion efforts have had on the global economy to date have been tremendously positive. They enable diversity and prosperity among communities that have been hitherto restricted. They allow users access to services and markets outside their region that may offer higher quality and/or lower rates and prices. This counters regional monopolies and quickens innovation. This inclusion would not be possible without Bitcoin and blockchain technology.
“Coins has done an excellent job of providing consumers with easy, cost-effective access to core financial services,” explained James Caviness, VP and CPO of Naspers’ PayU business; Caviness was also recently appointed as a Coins board member, “We expect Coins to continue to grow and expand across Southeast Asia.”
Coins.ph operates primarily in the Philippines and Thailand but plans to expand to other markets where consumer access to traditional financial services such as credit, banking, and remittances is either limited or prohibitively expensive. The Coins.ph mobile wallet has generated a strong leadership position, providing consumers the first point of access to a wide range of services. By leveraging blockchain technology and partnerships with existing financial institutions, Coins has been able to directly connect over one million previously unbanked customers with its ecosystem of financial services. The new investment will further accelerate its regional growth and allow Coins to establish additional cash-based services and partnerships to serve its customers.