SureRemit Raises $7m in Bid to Challenge Western Union

SureRemit Raises $7m in Bid to Challenge Western Union

Nigerian ICO SureRemit has raised $7 million in its ICO, selling out of its 500 million RMT tokens weeks before the ICO was scheduled to close.

During December’s pre-sale, SureRemit attracted investment from Hashed, the largest cryptocurrency fund in South Korea and early backer of Airswap, Ethereum, and Simple Token.

As reported last month, the ICO aims to disrupt the enormous global remittances market. 

Challenging Inflated Fees

Remittances, when foreign workers send earnings to their families back home, account for some of the developing world’s largest capital flows.

Every year their volume increases, breaching $0.5 trillion in 2015. This enormous market is dominated by money transfer companies like Western Union who tend to charge huge fees, particularly to countries sub-Saharan Africa. 

SureRemit’s have developed a voucher-based platform which aims to both considerably reduce the cost of transfers, and allow the sender to exercise some control over how the funds are spent.

The project grew out of SureGifts, a Nigerian online gift voucher company. SureGift are backed by GreenHouse Capital, a Nigerian venture capital fund specialising in blockchain solutions. 

Kelechi Nwokocha of GreenHouse Capital welcomed the successful ICO as the “implications of growth capital outside of equity financing is huge“, adding that now “SureRemit can scale its operations without additional capital from existing shareholders“.

Godwin Emefiele, the governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, has recently sounded the alarm on cryptocurrencies, saying that “we cannot as a central bank give support” and that cryptocurrencies were “a gamble, and there is a need for everybody to be very careful“.

The Nigerian population, however, is much more keen. LocalBitcoin, a peer-to-peer trading platform, reported that in 2017 there was a 1,500% increase in Bitcoin trading on their platform, second only to China, which banned official exchanges in September of last year.