Australia headquartered Bitcoin exchange Igot, experiencing rapid growth, planning to launch in Saudi Arabia and Egypt in December.
Even though the Adelaide-based Bitcoin exchange has been rapidly growing in numbers, with 60% monthly growth in users, and 400% growth in trading, Igot is not going to stop there, admitted founder Rick Day. In fact, the entrepreneur told Cointelegraph that Igot has been multiplying initiatives, concluding strategic partnerships, and expanding rapidly throughout Europe and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Earlier this week, the exchange secured solid relationships in the European Union, and is now officially active in 40 different countries. Day explained:
"Our localized approach to buying and selling Bitcoin, and ultimate focus on the remittance means more people can send money cheaper. We cover the entire European Union region now. With EU launch, we're now in 40 countries."
In order to compete with bigger players such as Coinbase and Bitstamp, Igot is aggressively lowering its fees, dropping commission rates to 0% for buy and 0.5% for sell. This tactic, said Day, has brought a lot more traction than they anticipated. Since they have rolled out the zero commission, the daily traded volume increased to cross over 1,200 BTC admitted Day.
"This makes us the biggest Bitcoin exchange, daily volume wise, in Australia, New Zealand, UAE, and India, explained Day. “Our new pricing means a lot of customers in 40+ countries can give us a try and see us at par with Bitstamp."
In August, Igot triggered its planned MENA expansion and launched the United Arab Emirates' first Bitcoin exchange. This strategic move was intended to exploit the local remittance market opportunities, made possible by the Indian Diaspora, which amounts to almost 11% of the country's total population. And according to the entrepreneur, the move paid off:
"We've seen some solid traction in terms of remittance from UAE to India. We've processed over US$2.5M so far in UAE/India transactions since launch."
It is following this success that Igot is now decided to roll out to Kenya. In December, the exchange is planning to launch in Saudi Arabia and Egypt as well. Similarly to the UAE, Igot's upcoming moves will be mainly targeting the local remittance market. According to Day, a lot of expatriates living in Saudi Arabia and Egypt are looking to send money back home:
"The idea here is to make sure they can buy and sell Bitcoin, and also banked the unbanked by providing them cheap remittance to their homes. We tested this in UAE and had tremendous response."
"Taking remittance to the next level"
While everyone has been talking about how Bitcoin can dramatically change the remittance market, Igot has been experiencing this phenomenon in practice. So far, the startup has been operating “more of a Western Union model,” explained Day. He continued:
"We deliver the money directly to the beneficiary's bank accounts without even them knowing or using Bitcoin. But the backend is all Bitcoin. So you can send funds to someone in India and it gets there within 2 hours as we're present in India as well. No more 4 to 5 business days of waiting for banks to make the transfer or inflated foreign exchange rates. We're taking remittance to the next level."
Along with fulfilling local remittance demands, Igot also aims to expand Bitcoin's usage and reach a bigger audience through innovative and lucid products. In September, the startup introduced its "Pay your Bill with Bitcoin," and has already processed as much as US$250,000 worth of bills in Australia alone.
Launched in early 2014, Igot received funding early on to fulfill its global expansion plans.The startup has since been receiving few interesting financial proposals, explained Day, "but have not yet found the term sheet [they] love." According to Day, Igot's intention "is to get strategic investors on board, not just their money."
Even though the entrepreneur said to be seeking "real value and partnerships," he admitted the need of raising "some more money to have a lot more traction." As of today, the startup is aiming to raise anywhere between US$5 M to $US10 M.
Igot is expecting few interesting partnerships to be announced within the next month or two, concluded Day.
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