Bitcoin blockchain payment services startup Veem Inc. has raised $24 million in a Series B round for its effort to provide an alternative to expensive wire transfers.
Founded in 2014 and previously known as Align Commerce, Veem offers a financial payments platform that facilitates person-to-person payments using bitcoin as the through point for the transfer. The company’s platform uses what it describes as a unique “multi-rail technology across several global networks” to enable small businesses to quickly and securely pay and get paid from their business partners all over the world.
Veem is pitching itself as an alternative to traditional interbank wire transfers that are often expensive by utilizing bitcoin and the blockchain to reduce costs for users who need to use these services. The company already operates in 60 countries and charges a flat $15 receiving fee with no fees to send money.
“At Veem, we understand even ‘mom and pop’ businesses must embrace globalization to compete with incumbents, grow their businesses and innovate,” Veem founder and Chief Executive Officer Marwan Forzley said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the current international payments experience is fundamentally broken, stifling SMBs’ globalization efforts.”
As we wrote back in 2015 when Veem took its last round, what makes the company interesting is that unlike others in the space such as Coins.ph, Abra, Inc. and BitX, Veem is not targeting markets where money transfer services are hard to access, but first-world markets where money transfer services are readily available.
The investment by National Australia Bank’s investment arm is somewhat ironic given that the bank, Australia’s third-largest by market cap but its largest by asset size, makes large sums of money through transfer charges. That they’d be interested in a company such as Veem could indicate the bank perhaps knows that technology is changing and that it needs a stake in the future of financial transfers.
The round was led by National Australia Bank Ventures that included GV (formerly Google Ventures), SBI Investment, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers and Silicon Valley Bank. Including the new round, Veem has raised $44.25 million to date.
The company said it would use the new funding to expand into more countries, enable payments in additional currencies and continue to transform the global payment process for small and medium-sized businesses.