Naspers invests $5m in Filipino FinTech Coins

South African media and e-commerce giant Naspers has continued its expansion into the FinTech and cryptocurrency space by putting $5 million behind Philippines-based startup Coins.ph. The investment was facilitated by Naspers’ Ventures division.

Coins offers financial services to unbanked individuals in the Philippines and Thailand using the blockchain to facilitate transfers and remittances. It claims to have more than one million registered users and support from over 100 000 merchants.

"Coins has done an excellent job of providing consumers with easy, cost-effective access to core financial services," James Caviness, VP and CPO of Naspers' PayU business, who has joined the Coins board, said in a statement. "We expect Coins to continue to grow and expand across Southeast Asia."

Naspers, which holds stakes in Tencent, Flipkart, OLX and Souq.com, is seeking to increase its presence in Southeast Asia, a region with more than 600 million consumers - a significant number of whom do not enjoy access to formal banking services - and an Internet economy is forecast to reach $200 billion a year within the next decade.

"Coins has become a key component of our customers' everyday lives, allowing them to do everything from sending payments to shopping online," said Ron Hose, CEO of Coins. "With Naspers Ventures, we've gained a great partner in our mission to democratise financial services by making them easily accessible and usable by anyone. We are extremely excited to be working together with them to build a more financially inclusive future."