Barclays, the Mastercard Foundation and Ripple have joined in a $1.7 million funding round for overseas remittance startup SendFriend.
Founded at MIT by a group of individuals with roots at The World Bank and MoneyGram, SendFriend plans to launch in New Jersey, opening its first remittance corridor between the United States and The Philippines.
The company, an alumni of Barclays' accelerator programme, has stuck an agreement with Ripple to use XRP as a liquidity vehicle for cross-border payments, enabling SendFriend to circumvent the corresponding banking system and convert USD to XRP to PHP in a matter of seconds.
Other companies joining the round include MIT Media Labs, Techstars, Mahindra Finance, 2020 Ventures and 8 Decimal Capital.
"This is a highly competitive space with longtime incumbents, but we are confident in the success of SendFriend," says Yuan Ruan, founder of 8 Decimal Capital. "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."