Stellar Blockchain-based Thai FinTech Lightnet Secured $31.2million Capital in ‘Series A’ Round
Thailand’s Lightnet FinTech firm has raised $31.2 million capital to expand its payment operations across South-east Asian nations.
The Thai FinTech platform Lightnet is headquartered in Bangkok and has accomplished ‘Series A’ funding round led by native financial majors including the Seven Bank, Singaporean United Overseas Bank Ltd. (UOB) and South Korea’s Hanwha Investment & Securities, HashKey Capital, Signum Capital, Hopshine Ventures, Du Capital, Uni-President Asset Holdings.
Live transfers via Lightnet network
The company stated that the funds will be utilized to build a new innovative financial mobility network along with strengthening the core blockchain technology functions on the Stellar network.
Lightnet’s main platform for payment transactions has been completed so far and its first transaction is scheduled in the first quarter of 2020 by January month-end. It is supposed to take place with at least 30 e-wallets, money transfers, and multiple payment partners. Lightnet offers three innovative technical solutions in the financial operations segment including the BridgeNet, SmartNet, and LiquidNet.
Currently, the traditional SWIFT money transfer system takes one to three days or even more time to complete the cross border money transfer process. The process involves heavy transactional fees as the payment amount is converted into the US dollar. Lightnet thus has launched Lightning for B2B payment solution at low cost instantaneous financial solution for approximately 4 billion customers across Asia Pacific. By 2023, it wants to run annually 50 billion worth transactions on its network. Lightnet has opted for the Stellar blockchain protocol that is used to operate cryptocurrency Stellar Lumens XLM. Lightnet wants to replace the inefficient SWIFT system with this new competent Stellar blockchain system.
The South-east Asia Markets
Lightnet is largely focusing on the global remittance market in the Southeast Asia region. The market so far is dominated by migrants from various countries that sends back money to their families in their native places. So far they were using traditional Banking services like the SWIFT system with high transactional charges but sluggish service. Due to the loopholes and inefficiencies in the system, illegal payment services options has been rampant in this region.
As per Lightnet estimations, cross border remittance market is estimated at approximately 150 billion in this geographical belt. The technology will highly facilitate the migrant workers in this region
With the support of six major financial conglomerates, in this segment, Lightnet has been able to access their enormous financial retail outlets network in this region, which can be utilized for cross border transfer transactions.
Lightnet’s Vice Chairman and Co-founder Tridbodi Arunanondchai state we are singularly focused on making money transfers faster, cheaper and efficient.
He further said, “We project that within three years, Lightnet will facilitate over $50 billion worth of annual transactional through pour industry-leading partner network.”
Partnership with Interstellar
Lightnet has collaborated with Interstellar which is the commercial branch of the Stellar Development Foundation that supports the development and maintenance of open-source Stellar network.
Interstellar was founded in 2018, by merging blockchain-based blockchain platform Chain and Stellar development Foundation Lightyear.
Participation of high profile Investors
Lightnet wants to integrate with several payment and remittance partners including the US-based payment services company MoneyGram and Seven Bank which owns 69,200 global outlets.
Lightnet already has a strong network of 500,000 cash agents. It also wants to associate with Chinese mobile payment solution provider Yeahka, Japanese payment provider Ksher and many other firms from Korea and South-east Asia for a wide expansion of the financial ecosystem.
More about Lightnet
Lightnet was founded in 2018 by Chatchaval Jiaravanon a member of the Charoen family which owns Pokphand Group. Another founder is Tridbodi Arunanondchai, who is a techno entrepreneur. The crypto firm aims to reduce cross border, cross-currency transactional charges and accelerate faster and efficient mechanism for transfers.
Other Players in South East Asia Markets
Apart from Lightnet, Ripple is another strong player in cross border payments segment in this region. Recently Ripple has announced its collaboration with Thailand’s oldest bank Siam Commercial Bank to develop a non-expensive and faster cross border payment system.
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CBW - External Analyst