BlueKite today announced a $1.5 million seed round led by the founding team and PeopleFund, along with initial plans for the development of a global cross-border bill payment and direct remittance platform.
Over the next six months, BlueKite will unveil technology and functionality that allows users to pay international bills including utilities and phone recharges, in real-time and with unprecedented efficiency.
BlueKite has developed proprietary technology that provides more options to millions of consumers who emigrated and still support friends and families back in their home countries. According to official World Bank data, more than 215 million people today have emigrated from their homelands. In 2011, these wage earning emigrants with responsibilities for family members transferred more than $500 Billion to their home countries. According to World Bank estimates these money transfers are growing at an 8% annual rate. In the Unites States alone, it is estimated that more than $60 Billion is remitted annually.
BlueKite already offers cross-border bill payment for services in countries including Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and is currently developing integrations into other emerging market countries in South America, Africa and South East Asia. Some of the bill-payment services available through BlueKite include electricity, gas, water, internet, cable, fixed and mobile phone and financial services. The BlueKite payment platform is expected to be available to consumers via internet, mobile devices, as well as through a clerk-assisted in-store version.
"This important investment round validates the growing market and opportunity ahead for BlueKite. We are committed to providing consumers around the world with a safe, convenient and economical way to make payments and care for their families abroad," said Bobby Aitkenhead, co-founder & CEO of BlueKite. "Our goal is to create new efficient ways for cross-border payments which are not currently available and allow immigrants to better control their finances."
"BlueKite is a category-creating service that is exceptionally positioned to become the fastest growing leader in cross-border payments by focusing on emerging markets and by providing robust technology and important partnerships in the space," said Jose Vargas, co-founder and Director of PeopleFund. "Most of all, we're believers in the team, and their ability to execute on this vision."