InstaRem raises $5M to make overseas money transfers cheaper and faster in Asia

india-cashInstaRem, an international remittance payments startup headquartered in Singapore, has raised $5 million in a round led by Vertex Ventures.

The Series A investment included participation from Fullerton Financial Holdings, an investment fund that, like Vertex, is a subsidiary of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund Temasek, and existing investor Global Founders Capital.

A wave of fintech companies are promising to liberate bank customers from pain of international transfers, which come with sub-market exchange rates and hefty processing fees. While the likes of TransferWise, which was founded by Skype alumni and is backed by famed U.S. investment firm Andreessen Horowitz among others, offer better exchange rates and lower fees, the usual cross-border service takes days and has limited support worldwide.

That’s where InstaRem hopes to stand out from the crowd.

The company is focused on serving Asia, and it claims to charge lower fees than banks and traditional remittance services like MoneyGram or Western Union — InstaRem’s rate is typically less than one percent — while transactions are completed within one day, if not same-day.