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Stellar-Based WhatsApp Cross-Border Transfer Service Félix Pago Secures $15.5M Funding

  • Stellar-based Félix Pago is reported to have secured a $15 million series A funding round to expand its services in LATAM and the US. 
  • According to them, their services rely on crypto partners such as Boston-based crypto fund Castle Island Ventures. 

Stellar-based WhatsApp cross-border transfer service Félix Pago has secured $15 million Series A funding as part of the plans to boost its operations in the LATAM and US. According to reports, the round was led by Massachusetts-based VC firm Castle Island Ventures and supported by Switch Ventures, HTwenty, MELI Capital, and Contour. 

Founded in 2021, Félix Pago explains that its platform utilizes blockchain and AI technology to ensure that Latino workers in the US are provided with easy and reliable ways to send money home. Interestingly, this is done via the messaging service WhatsApp by texting “Félix” to start an instant money transfer.

Announcing the funding, the company disclosed that this is a significant milestone and a big step towards the plan to enhance and expand the reach of its services. For now, WhatsApp supports peer-to-peer transactions and business payments in Brazil and India. 

According to Félix Pago, the uniqueness of its service lies in the fact that it does not require users to download separate apps for operation, with transactions managed through a Chatbot. After the transaction is facilitated, recipients can receive it in local currency either as a bank deposit or in cash at designated locations in Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. For efficient facilitation, users incur an additional fee of $1.99 to use this option. 

The sender receives a receipt with a unique ID number and they send this receipt to the beneficiary to show it to the teller so they can pick up the cash.

Félix Pago Partner with Crypto Firms and Implements Tools for Compliance

To address all legal issues, Félix Pago has implemented tools for compliance in operational efficiency such as KYC, AML, and fraud prevention as well as the use of the Circle’s USDC stablecoin. In using the stablecoin, the company can reduce foreign exchange costs and pre-funding needs to issue the first transaction free while charging lower fees for subsequent transactions.

For transactions to Mexico and Guatemala, Félix Pago charges $2.50. However, it has opted for tiered pricing for Honduras. 

According to CEO Manuel Godoy, Félix relies on its crypto partners such as its new lead investor, Boston-based crypto fund Castle Island Ventures, to make its infrastructure more robust. 

Crypto is a powerful enabler for remittances, but you have to abstract that from the user. The user doesn’t care about that. I always say that it could be a donkey crossing the border, it doesn’t matter. What they want is the money, the local currency and they want it instantly at the best possible price. And crypto enables that on the back end.

Also, Félix is in a strategic partnership with blockchain firm Stellar Lumens (XLM). Recently, Stellar disclosed that the partnership between Félix and Bitso was meant to create a smooth remittance solution for U.S.-based Latinos.

According to a statement by Stellar reported by Crypto News Flash, traditional finance has always been confronted with issues of hefty processing fees, long processing hours or days, etc. Fortunately, these are addressed by both Bitso and Félix.

At press time, XLM was trading at $0.1 after declining by 0.05% in the last 24 hours and 1.6% in the last seven days. 

 

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