Phillipines based bitcoin startup Coins.ph has secured $5m in Series A funding led by Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund. Notably, the investment included support from two innovation labs backed by major telecom providers in the Philippines: Kickstart Ventures, a wholly owned subsidiary of Globe Telecom; and IdeaSpace Foundation, an incubator backed by First Pacific, which owns telecom providers including Smart Communications.
Rather than go for disruption, CEO Ron Hose credited Coins's growth in part to its willingness to embrace working with larger partners. "The reason that we've built so many partnerships is you need to work with the banks. You need to work with telcos, governments, non-profit organizations and bring everyone to the table," he said So far, Hose argues this has allowed Coins to find creative ways to serve customers. For instance, he noted how his startup now enables "cardless withdrawals" at 450 ATMs. Rather than use a debit card, Coins users can enter an SMS code and gain access to cash. "They get cash out right out away. It's 24/7, it's the most convenient remittance you will find. This is rain or shine," Hose continued.