Company Information and Credibility
Singapore-headquartered Instarem was launched in 2014 by current CEO Prajit Nanu and co-founder Michael Bermingham. Indian-born Prajit Nanu was the catalyst behind Instarem, holding one simple objective – to make it easier and cheaper for everyone to make international currency transfers around the world. Instarem seeks to empower people to do more with their money, taking better control of their finances wherever they are in the world.
Instarem has enjoyed tremendous growth since inception, continuing to grow its international footprint year by year. In 2015, Instarem attained its first money transmission license in Australia, quickly picking up 8% of all AUD to INR transaction flows and received its first seed funding of $500k from GFC. Later in the same year, Instarem attained an MSB license in Canada and opened offices in India, Singapore & Australia. All this done with just 10 employees.
Rapid growth saw a second, much more sizable funding round of $5m in 2016, led by Vertex Ventures. Instarem used the capital to launch an office in the US and successfully gain MSB License approval in Hong Kong, Singapore and parts of the US.
In 2017 the firm raised an additional $13m through GSR Ventures and processed $1bn in transactions. Offices in the UK, Hong Kong, Malaysia, EU followed as the team grew to 100+ staff. An MSB license in Malaysia and EMI license in Europe meant the firm could start offering its services in more destinations.
The following year, Instarem launched real-time delivery to 50+ countries and multi-currency bank accounts, a digital trend which is making it drastically easier for individuals to travel and businesses to collect and make payments overseas.
The firm raised a further $35m in 2019 through Vertex Growth and Atinum, which was the same year the firm launched NIUM. A platform that connects business and financial institutions to a global payment infrastructure through one API. Instarem is now the SME & private client focused arm of NIUM.
Fast forward to 2021 and NIUM/Instarem has acquired Ixaris, the world’s 3rd largest B2B Travel card issuer, reached over 500 staff and has raised a whopping $200m in its latest funding round, valuing NIUM at over $1bn. Most recently, Instarem launched an office in Japan, taking the total number of offices to 12. Asia remains the primary focus for the firm and this is reflected by NIUM/Instarem’s headquarters being held in Singapore. The Asia focus is appropriate due to many of the major money transfer companies having a strong presence throughout the UK & Europe.
NIUM Pte. Ltd. (formerly known as Instarem Pte. Limited) is the holding company of NIUM and Instarem subsidiaries globally.
It is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore as a major payment institution in Singapore under License No. PS20200276
Australia: NIUM PTY Limited (formerly known as Instarem PTY Ltd) is regulated in Australia by ASIC (AFS License No. 464627)
Canada: NIUM Canada Corporation (formerly known as Instarem Canada Corporation) (License No. M15669293) is regulated by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada
Hong Kong: NIUM LIMITED (formerly known as Instarem LIMITED) (License No. 16/01/01797) is regulated by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department
India: NIUM India Pvt. Ltd. (formerly known as Instarem India Pvt. Ltd.) operates in association with SBM Bank and is regulated by the Reserve Bank of India, vide its approval letter Number. SBM/Mum/RP/009
Indonesia: PT Instarem Mitra Indonesia (License No. 21/261/Jkt/1) is regulated by Bank Indonesia.
Japan: Nium Japan Kabushiki Kaisha (formerly known as Instarem Japan Kabushiki Kaisha) (registration no: Kanto Local Finance Bureau no. 00073) is a Funds Transfer Services Provider registered with the Prime Minister under the Payment Services Act (Act No. 59 of June 24, 2009).
Lithuania (with full EU passporting rights): UAB NIUM EU (formerly known as UAB Instarem EU) (License No. 14) is regulated by Lietuvos Bankas (Bank of Lithuania)
Malaysia: NIUM SDN. BHD. (formerly known as Instarem Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.) Registration No. 201701000367 (1214517-X) is regulated in Malaysia by Central Bank of Malaysia under MY License Serial Number 00222.
Singapore: NIUM Pte. Ltd. (formerly known as Instarem Pte. Limited) is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore as a major payment institution under License No. PS20200276.
United States of America: NIUM, Inc. (formerly known as Instarem USA Corporation), operates in the United States under a program sponsored by Community Federal Savings Bank, to which NIUM is a service provider (NMLS ID No. 1528562).
UK: NIUM FINTECH LIMITED (formerly known as Instarem Limited), Reference number 901024, is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Authorised Electronic Money Institution (EMI) provider and is licensed to issue electronic money (e-money) and provide payment services.
Instarem has won a number of awards (the majority in Asia) for Fintech innovation, including:
- Winner, Singapore Fintech Award – Singapore Fintech Festival, 2017, Singapore
- Winner, FinTech Rising Star Award – India FinTech Awards, 2017, Mumbai
- Winner, Outstanding Digital Cross-Border Money Transfer Service – ET Net FinTech Awards, 2017, Hong Kong
- Winner, Blockchain Innovator Award – Swell by Ripple, 2018, San Francisco
- Finalist, Excellence in Payments – Fintech Australia 2018
- Winner, Best Value International Money Transfer Provider Award – Mozo Experts Choice, Australia 2020
Despite being a relative newcomer, Instarem, now powered by NIUM, has enjoyed tremendous growth through its young history. After gaining its first MSB license in Australia, it wasn’t long for the firm to soon expand into Canada and the US. More recently Instarem launched in a number of Asian markets and the UK & Europe. In total, the firm is regulated by nine of the leading regulatory bodies around the world, including arguably the world-leading FCA in the UK. As a result of this, we feel confident in saying Instarem is a safe and secure option for money transfers.
The idea of offering a transparent variable fee rather than charging an unpublished and unknown FX spread shows Instarem is operating in the market with the right intentions too. The fee, which ranges from 0.25% – 1% depending on the currencies being exchanged, is similar to the business model of Wise.
With hundreds of millions of dollars in investment from well-known VC firms, a valuation of over $1bn and partnerships with a number of leading financial institutions (including Visa and Ripple) this further goes to cement the credibility of the firm.