Blockchain remittance startup Streami has closed a $2m seed funding round.
Despite the startup's newcomer status, however, its backers to date include Shinhan Bank, one of South Korea's largest financial services providers. The bank committed ₩500m (roughly $427,000) to the funding round.
Streami also drew support from Shinhan Data Systems, an IT entity within Shinhan; ICB, a payments firm known for working with Asian e-commerce giant Alibaba; venture firm Bluepoint Partners, and a group of angel investors.
By targeting the Asian remittance market from South Korea to China, including markets such as Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand, Streami seeks to help people bypass illegal money transmission services in the area.
Junhaeng Lee, CEO and founder, told CoinDesk via email:
"Streami's main competitors, as of now, are traditional remittance service providers in general and illegal money transmitters that are estimated to take up significant Korea-outbound remittances market share."
"Streami will bring trusted, regulated liquidity into the crypto networks," he added.
The funding, Lee told CoinDesk, will be used to open branches in cities beyond Seoul and recruit new talent.
Although the startup is pre-revenue, it said it plans to eventually do so by taking service fees from institutional clients.
ICB CEO Han Yong Lee told CoinDesk that his firm took part in the round to facilitate further exploration of the technology.
"We hope to provide better services with blockchain-based foreign currency remittance FinTech services and collaboration with Streami. Moreover, we made an investment in Streami because we believe in their potential," he said.
South Korea image via Shutterstock.