Ripple, Mastercard and Others Invest $1.7 Million in XRP-Based Remittance Startup SendFriend

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Ripple, Mastercard and Others Invest $1.7 Million in XRP-Based Remittance Startup SendFriend

SendFriend plans to serve overseas workers from the Philippines, using XRP and Ripple’s xRapid product for cross-border settlements. It is also going to launch in New Jersey.

Ripple, Mastercard and Others Invest $1.7 Million in XRP-Based Remittance Startup SendFriend

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Source: CoinSpeaker

Ripple, Barclays Invest $1.7 Million in Remittance Start-Up Using XRP

While Ripple and its token XRP are changing the way cross border remittance industry works, it is also backing young start-up which shares the same vision of disrupting the payments industry. According to the latest announcement, Ripple has joined hands with Barclays and Mastercard to infuse $1.7 million funding for remittance start-up SendFriend.
SendFriend envisions to open services in New Jersey
SendFriend is a start-up founded at MIT by a group of individuals with a background of working at The World Bank and MoneyGram. The remittance start-up plans to start operations in New Jersey and envisions to open its first remittance corridor between the United States and The Philippines.
The company, which came out of Barclays‘ accelerator programme, has got into an agreement with Ripple to use XRP tokens as a liquidity vehicle for cross-border payments, allowing SendFriend to bypass the corresponding banking system and convert USD to XRP to PHP in a matter of seconds.
The other investors that have joined Ripple in this round of funding include MIT Media Labs, TechStars, Mahindra Finance, 2020 Ventures, and 8 Decimal Capital.
While the services are yet to go live, SendFriend mentions that it plans to cover the whole of the United States in short term and it plans to offer its services via desktop and mobile apps.
In its funding announcement, SendFriend claimed that it will offer 65 percent lower fees compared to the industry average for international money transfers, as blockchain “replaces the frictions and fees of the banking system.”
The start-up is in the process of hiring its team, community engagement, and marketing.
Speaking to media SendFriend’s co-founder and chief executive officer David Lighton said
“XRP is used as a liquidity vehicle for cross-border payments, enabling SendFriend to circumvent the corresponding banking system and convert USD to XRP to PHP [Philippine peso] in a matter of seconds.”
From the investors side, Yuan Ruan, founder of 8 Decimal Capital mentioned “This is a highly competitive space with longtime incumbents, but we are confident in the success of SendFriend,” “SendFriend has a good combination of an experienced team, large $650 billion remittance market, investors that provide more than just capital, and a growth strategy focused on more than revenue from transactions including APIs and white-label solutions.”
With XRP’s support, SendFriend would try capturing the Filipino population that is currently staying and working in the United States. If its able to achieve its vision, SendFriend could gain a lot of market share in the remittance industry
What is your view on SendFriend? Do let us know your views on the same.
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Source: CoinGape

Ripple partner and startup raises a whopping $1.7 million in funding to improve cross-border payments

SendFriend, a partner of Ripple and a startup that focuses on improving cross-border payments has received a whopping $1.7 million in funding during its first round of investment.
The next-generation remittance company focuses on the smartest way to send money to the Philippines which will help overseas Filipino workers to securely transfer USD to PHP at the lowest rate available via SendFriend. The news of the investment was published on MarketWatch and informed that the capital raised was led by companies like 8 Decimal Capital, Techstars, 2020 Ventures, Barclays, MIT Media Lab etc.
Migrants in the U.S. who send home money via traditional methods usually face problems like delayed payments, high fees and sometimes, the payment doesn’t go through. Moreover, out of $650 billion in remittance transaction occurring in the U.S., $45 billion is lost in fees.
Furthermore, MarketWatch stated:
“SendFriend will launch as the only option for OFWs to securely and reliably send money internationally with fees that are 65% lower than the industry average as it replaces the frictions and fees of the banking system with one seamless, ultra low cost experience to send money globally.”
SendFriend uses Ripple’s xRapid payment solution to facilitate cross-border payments. XRP provides the liquidity needed to make the transaction happen. xRapid transactions occur as a result of converting USD to XRP, which is then sent via exchanges, thus circumventing banks and FIs and the XRP is then converted back to PHP via the exchange in Philippines.
Earlier this year,  CEO David Lighton had said,
“We leveraged the blockchain to create an instant digital money transfer service, a full 65% cheaper than the industry’s average. SendFriend is the US’ first fully compliant international consumer payment solution built on the blockchain and we are going live in Q1.”
SendFriend was founded by people at MIT and was also accepted into Barclays Accelerator Program, powered by Techstars. Moreover, SendFriend plans to launch in New Jersey but, will soon be available to OFWs in other states via desktop and mobile as well. In addition, users can also request to get an early access version of the same.
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Source: AMB Crypto

Barclays’ Crypto Trading Desk Put ‘on Ice’ as Competition Heats Up

Barclays has reportedly put plans for a cryptocurrency trading platform on pause, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Barclays Puts Crypto Trading Project on Hold
U.K.-based multinational bank and financial services company Barclays is said to have frozen a project that would see the firm launching a cryptocurrency trading desk, two sources “familiar with the situation” claimed.
The “digital assets project” was being led by Barclays former global head of commodities Chris Tyrer, alongside head of forex and emerging markets macro strategy, Marvin Barth, technology officer Lee Braine, and digital assets consultant Matthieu Jobbe Duval. The decision to axe the project reportedly prompted Tyrer to exit his post leading the project in September. 
The quartet had been researching cryptocurrencies viability as an asset Barclays’ customers might be interested in, and to better understand what operational infrastructure would be required to support the effort.
However, it appears that the research either discovered a number of challenges Barclays wasn’t prepared to face, or found a distinct lack of interest from customers willing to explore the emerging asset class as an investment vehicle.
No specific reason was given for the decision, only that the project was put “on ice.” In recent weeks, as cryptocurrencies continue to experience declining prices, a general lack of interest from institutional investors has caused other cryptocurrency products to be folded.
However, past comments from Barclays chief executive officer Jes Staley could shed some light as to why Barclays got cold feet with a crypto trading desk. Staley worried that cryptocurrencies could be “used for activities that the bank wants to have no part of.”
Barclays was rumored to be investigating a cryptocurrency trading desk back in April of this year, in partnership with Goldman Sachs. The buzz surrounding the rumor picked up steam when Barclays created its Digital Asset Team in August.
Competition in Crypto Space Begins to Heat Up
Barclays’ potential partner on the project, Goldman Sachs, is also rumored to be working on its own cryptocurrency trading desk. Like Barclays it too has pivoted back and forth between supporting and denying the existence of such a trading desk.
Last month, rumors emerged from anonymous sources claiming that the major U.S. finance firm was ditching plans for a cryptocurrency trading desk. Yet, Goldman’s chief financial officer Marty Chavez called the report “fake news.”
Traditional finance firms like Goldman Sachs, Barclays, JPMorgan, and others, are in a race to open the first cryptocurrency trading desk geared toward institutional investors. 
Competition in the space is beginning to heat up, with New York Stock Exchange parent company Intercontinental Exchange set to take the first step by offering physically delivered Bitcoin futures via its Bakkt platform this coming November.
Featured image from Shutterstock.
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Source: New feedNewsBTC.com