Singaporean fintech #startup Everex has just raised US$500,000 in seed funding from Chinese industrial conglomerate Holley Group. It hopes to add a substantial sum to that figure from its token sale, which kicks off today.
Everex has developed an Ethereum blockchain-based online payments suite, which comprises cash transfer and micro-lending services, as well as an ewallet for cryptocurrency.
In terms of potential customers, the startup is primarily targeting what it calls “the un- and underbanked” of Asia. In particular, it has been trialing its products with Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand. More than 100 such workers have used Everex to transfer money to their families back in Myanmar, the startup said in a press release.
It has been trialing its products with Myanmar migrant workers in Thailand.
In addition to guest workers and other underbanked individuals, Everex says its products are useful to tourists and expats who want to avoid paying currency conversion fees. It also thinks aid and development organizations, government agencies, and NGOs can benefit from using its services to distribute funds in a way which can be audited, thanks to the blockchain technology they incorporate.
This represents Holley Group’s first fintech investment. The Hangzhou-based conglomerate – which operates in diverse areas including energy, pharmaceuticals, and rubber manufacturing – has a substantial footprint in Thailand, having co-founded the Thai-Chinese Rayong Industrial Zone in the south of the kingdom back in 2005.
More from token sale
While the US$500,000 cash injection is a welcome boost, Everex is not resting on its laurels. Today it launched the first crowdsale of its EVX token, with the aim of raising additional funds.
EVX will serve a number of purposes as Everex continues to grow its business. Token holders will be able to access certain advanced functions unavailable to other users.
Furthermore, by accumulating EVX tokens, underbanked users with threadbare or nonexistent credit histories will be able to improve their credit scores. Users will also be rewarded with EVX tokens for on-time loan repayments – while those who are late may have EVX docked.
There’s a whole host of Asian online payments players aimed at underbanked communities. In Everex’s initial target market of Thailand, key rivals include Ascend, 2C2P, and Omise. The latter recently completed its own token sale, raising US$25 million.
Everex aims to fully launch its services in Thailand, Myanmar, and Russia before the end of this year, with expansion to other Asian markets slated for the first quarter of 2018.