Singapore-based remittance startup Toast, previously known as Cryptosigma, has pivoted away from bitcoin and blockchain technology and reportedly raised $850,000 (S$1.2m) in seed funding.
The startup – which seeks to facilitate remittances for Filipino workers living in Singapore – announced its re-branding in a blog post in July and said it would for now operate as a “bitcoin invisible” solution.
The post read:
“We realised as wonderful as bitcoin is, it is still not mass market suitable and we wanted to help make it so by deploying a product that a) solved a big problem right now (not 10 years from now) and b) a product that appealed to a large enough group of people with problem ‘a’.”
A Startupbootcamp alumnus, Toast will now allow consumers to load its smartphone app – due to be released to Google’s Play store – with a local offline travel card or bank account and send money to their relatives in the Philippines, thus bypassing traditional remittance agents.
In so doing, Toast will tap into the Philippines remittance market, which according to a 2010 World Bank study is the second largest recipient for remittances in Asia, accounting for 10% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2014.