Google-Backed Fintech startup Veem is using Bitcoin for International Payments

By Ravindra Chagetha

A cross-border payment platform, Veem has raised $25 million in a round led by Goldman Sach. Veem is a platform which use the top cryptocurrency Bitcoin to move funds among businesses without banks. The platform has also participated in the funding round of GV (Google Ventures), Pantera Capital, Trend Forward Capital, Kleiner Perkins, and Silicon Valley Bank. Veem is growing at a rapid pace and in the past year, the revenue of the platform has quadrupled.

Veem is formally known as Align Commerce, is the first global payment platform which has started to use blockchain technology for international money transfer. The platform was founded in 2014 by Marwan Forzely and his colleague Aldo Carrascoso. They both left Western Union to found Veem. Marwan and Aldo believed that blockchain technology could remove the need of intermediate banks and other third parties in cross-border fund transfer. Currently, Align Commerce operates in more than 95 countries.  

Veem offers cross-border money transfer for businesses using multi-rail technology. Vemm has multiple payment rails to route the money efficiently from one place to another without intermediary banks and associated banking charges. Businesses can send and request money across 60 countries. Veem uses an algorithm to route the transactions automatically among the most efficient payment rails. The platform will deploy the increasing level of automation including built-in KYC/AML compliances.

From the funding of May 2015, the platform expanded its customer base from 90 to 80,000. According to Marwan, the new funding round acknowledges the size of the opportunity and the extent of pain point the service is addressing. Goldman Sachs is the lead investor which has participated in the new round of funding through its Principal Strategic Investment Group. Principal Strategic Investment Group of Goldman Sachs has been active in the blockchain industry and looking for investing in blockchain companies which can boost services for its clients. The managing director of Goldman Sachs, Rana Yareed will be the nonvoting observer on the Veem board.

According to Marwan, a major portion of his revenue comes from integration with online accounting services such as QuickBooks, Netsuite, and Xero. GV general partner, Karim Faris believes that Veem could become the first bitcoin startup to go public. Faris is also the board of director of Veem. Faris said that GV is not a strategic investor but sees Veem as a way to build an independent company and deliver a financial return or an eventual IPO.

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Ravindra Chagetha

His interests and the desire to learn something new cannot be neglected as he is always keen to learn new things.

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