Centbee raises $1M in pre-series A funding

London and South African-based crypto enterprise, Centbee has obtained $1 million to facilitate more cross-border remittances of Bitcoin.

By Anna B Kiwanuka

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Centbee, a London-based facilitator of digital money payments on the Bitcoin blockchain BSV, has closed its pre-series A round at $1 million with funding from Calvin Ayre, founder of bitcoin VC player Ayre Ventures.

Commenting on the new partnership, Calvin Ayre stated, “My faith in Centbee has been rewarded through Angus and Lorien’s ongoing commitment to making Bitcoin – the original protocol in the form of BSV, easily usable and accessible to everyone.”

Founded in 2017, Centbee has developed its own digital cash wallet which runs on the BSV blockchain and supports Bitcoin transfers. Lorien Gamaroff, a crypto expert with a primary base in Johannesburg, and Angus Brown, a 20-year banking veteran, founded the company.

Centbee’s crypto infrastructure enables customers to send digital money payments to friends and family overseas, using a cross-border remittances service called Minit Money. 

The features roadmap was recently expanded. Centbee’s ChatPay option acts as an in-wallet chat application for Minit Money. The startup also offers a number of digital cash products and services through a separate decentralized finance app.

We rarely hear from remittance providers using crypto, but it’s an area with potential. Traditional remittance providers are hampered by the time delay caused by international finance protocols, mainly SWIFT. 

Given that crypto uses blockchain for its verification checks, the money arrives much faster and can be held by the recipient as savings or investment, if they don’t want to acquire fiat for spending.

Centbee uses the BSV ledger to record all remittance transactions immutably. It’s being billed as a true peer-to-peer electronic cash system for sending Bitcoin, thanks to a use case that’s driven by the utility as opposed to currency speculation.

Gamaroff and Brown lead Centbee as jointly appointed chief executives. Along with its London headquarters, the firm also has offices in South Africa that support its growth.  So far Centbee claims to have enabled 35,000 remittance payments into Africa.

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