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US Blockchain Startup Wyre Acquires Remitsy for China Entry

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:55 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:55 PM

San Francisco-based blockchain startup Wyre, a Fintech cross-border payments firm, has acquired Beijing-based Remitsy, an industry startup specializing in blockchain payments in the corporate space.

As a blockchain-based firm, Wyre is looking to carve into the cross-border payments corridor between China and the United States. Late last year, the startup launched its namesake blockchain platform that will support the remittance payments between the two countries.

Wyre’s blockchain platform works by taking deposits via API from a large payment company. These transactions are recorded and sent over Wyre’s ledger before the startup delivers the funds as per the instructions of the transaction. Wyre claims it can carry out the transfer in ‘less than six hours’ between US-China, compared to traditional methods with a settlement intermediary that could take three to five business days.

Wyre has previously claimed that it supports 90% of cross-border business payments using blockchain technology and its acquisition of Chinese industry startup Remitsy will strengthen its position.

According to a Reuters  report, negotiations toward the discussion began in February this year. Wyre chief executive Michael Dunworth told the publication that its acquisition of Remitsy was the first of its kind, one wherein a U.S. company acquired a Chinese blockchain company in the corporate payments space. Terms of the deal remain under wraps, but Dunworth confirmed it to be a cash and equity deal.

When Remitsy is integrated to Wyre’s blockchain platform, payment timescales will be cut down even further, with transactions processed in a ‘few hours’, according to Dunworth.

Perhaps notably, Remitsy is a partner with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s tremendously popular Alipay platform, which counts over 400 million registered users in China. Wyre’s new acquisition will see it benefit from these partnerships.

“It’s the first time any Wyre customer will be able to provide pay-out in China via Alipay,” Dunworth told Reuters. “Adding Alipay to our platform would be a huge benefit.”

As a part of the terms of the acquisition, Remitsy co-founders Neil Woodfine and Richard Bensberg will join Wyre’s team to help the company’s operations and growth in China.

CCN.com previously reported on a $5.8 million Series A round by Wyre with notable industry investors Digital Currency Group and Draper Associates. A number of Chinese firms, including payment companies and venture capital firms, are also investors in Wyre.

With about 1,000 customers currently, Wyre’s monthly payment volume processed reached $50 million in March. Dunworth sees transactions scaling up to $70-$75 million in the coming months after the acquisition. The Californian blockchain startup also has plans to expand its platform to Europe and Latin America.

Featured image from Shutterstock.