San Francisco-based Fintech startup Wyre has launched its namesake blockchain remittance platform alongside a successful $5.8 million Series A round.
The funding round includes prominent digital currency and blockchain industry investors Digital Currency Group and Draper Associates, along with other prominent tech angel investors. Notably, the funding round was led by Chinese venture firm Amphora capital alongside China 9fBank and Bafoo.com, two major payments companies in China.
The launch sees the blockchain payments platform operational in China and the United States whereas the funding round will help expand the platform to Europe and Latin America.
Michael Dunworth, co-founder and CEO of Wyre stated in a press release:
Current wire services are difficult, expensive and take too long. In a generation of instant gratification, we believe that money transfer should be too.
Wyre intends to add its blockchain solution as a layer on top of existing blockchain-based platforms adopted by payment giants around the world. Fundamentally, the Wyre platform works by taking deposits from large payment companies via an API. These transactions are sent over Wyre’s ledger. Wyre then delivers the funds as per the transaction’s instructions, “typically in less than six hours”, it claims, compared to anywhere between 1-3 days by traditional methods that include a settlement intermediary.
The Fintech firm’s obvious focus lays in the cross-border payments corridor between China and the United States. Sam Lin, chief financial officer at 9fBank.com pointed to Wyre’s influence in blockchain-based payments as a reason for the payment giant’s investment. Wyre accounts for 90% of cross-border business payments using blockchain technology, which sees a monthly volume of $35 million.
It is estimated that the demand for cross-border payment from Chinese companies and investors could reach $1.5 trillion USD within the next five years. Wyre is well positioned as a market leader to facilitate those transactions faster and at a lower cost.
The company currently processes over a million dollars in international payments a day currently, and claims a near 25% month-over-month growth. If it has gone unnoticed, the company has been in stealth for the past 10 months in private beta, catering to select large-scale businesses such as NihoPay, the payments platform used by the massively popular WeChat communication app.
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