Filipino digital payment startup Ayanna announced it has received $1 million in a new round of investments.
Ayanna’s new round of funding was from Japanese VC firms IMJ Investment Partners and Beenos, the investment arm of Teruhide Sato, president and group CEO of netprice.com. Initial investors, Siemer Ventures and Golden Gate Ventures, returned also in this round of funding bringing Ayanna’s investment total to 4.5 million.
Ayanna is a remittance firm focusing on money transfers from the 10 million+ Filipinos living overseas, so they can send funds to their families. Other income comes from Ayanna’s SaaS business which offers software based products and services.
Remittance is a fast growing segment in the Philippines. Between January and May 2014 alone, remittance grew by 6.1% to a total of $10.4 billion, compared to $9.8 billion the same time in 2013. Top sources for remittance in the Philippines are the US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, the UK, Singapore, Japan, and Hong Kong.
Currently Filipinos who reside oversees use money transfer services to send funds back home. These services include Western Union, MoneyGram, Trans-fast, and iRemit, as well as traditional bank transfers to name a few. According to Ayannah founder and CEO Mikko Perez, there is no intention of competing with these types of services, but rather partner with them to offer its users the ability to send goods and services to people in the Philippines online.
“We are not trying to eliminate money transfers/remittances but we are giving migrants more options on how to support their beneficiaries in their home countries without necessarily infringing on the value proposition of money transfer operators,” Perez stated.
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Filipino workers located overseas use the Ayanna remittance service through Sendah. Sendah is a B2C platform allowing users to remit money to family members and purchase goods and services like insurance and mobile credits for example.
“Other growth opportunities we are pursuing is providing financial services to the 70 million unbanked/underbanked Filipinos residing the Philippines–many of whom are domestic migrants (having migrated from the countryside to the big cities in search of jobs and income opportunities). These domestic migrants remit even larger amounts of money to the countryside,” says Perez.
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