Singapore just got a taste of Sri Lanka, well Sri Lanka’s software to be more precise. Kashmi (pronounced Cash-Me) is a mobile peer-to-peer payment platform developed by a team of Sri Lankans for Singapore’s digital payment landscape. The application enables users to transfer money immediately with no costs incurred via their smartphone. The platform has already attracted the attention of regional investors with multi-billion dollar Middle Eastern organization DP World who is already onboard as a shareholder.
Kashmi’s journey began when it was shortlisted to a top 10 position out of around 500 global competing entries at Startupbootcamp FinTech (SBC), which is Europe’s highest ranked accelerator program. It also went on to win SBC’s ‘People’s Choice Award’.
The 10 start-ups, including Kashmi, have already raised over $2.5 million USD collectively and further investments are also anticipated when Kashmi is showcased in July at Singapore’s annual Investor Day. Think of it as the place where start-ups and venture capitalists from around the world will vie for investment opportunities.
Kashmi is also slated to undergo a business incubator program. This will basically provide assistance in terms of legal advice, office space, networking and marketing, and mentorship in order to further improve their service. Notably, the program will offer participants mentorship from representatives of several prominent tech and commerce giants such as Apple, Amazon and Master Card, DBS Bank etc.
The aim of the platform is to make it the Paypal of micro-transactions in Asia with integrated social-media features. As such, Kashmi essentially functions as a social media integrated m-wallet app which users can download and link to their Facebook profile and credit/debit card and bank accounts. Thereafter users can top up their Kashmi account using their credit card, debit card or bank account while deposits will be transferred directly to their bank accounts when they want to cash out.
Using the app is a simple and convenient process. A user can simply search for a friend they wish to pay via their phone’s contact list or Facebook, write a short description about the reason for payment and click PAY or CHARGE as required. Funds transferred within Kashmi are instantaneous.
With a team consisting of individuals the likes of Mufaddal Lukmanjee and Sanjiv Alles who are the driving force behind companies such as Saberion, Appwolf and Atom Technologies, Rajinda Jayasinghe’s academic background at Princeton University, John Hopkins University, and National University of Singapore as well as Aerospace Engineer turned Investment Banker Rakhil Fernando’s experience as VP at Coutts & Co Bank Singapore and Credit Suisse, the team and the platform both are on the brink of international success.
With the digital payment industry’s recent rapid expansion in the form of major platforms like Apple Pay – which is specific to Apple devices – and Facebook’s upcoming launch of a payment system – which will be restricted to the American market for the time-being – Kashmi’s bold first steps into the Asian market could prove to be a tipping point for start-up innovations.
Kashmi’s creators say that Singapore has been an ideal test-bed for the e-payment system, which they hope to expand into Hong Kong and Malaysia by the third quarter of 2015.