Meet Sendmi, a fintech startup that is launching today in the Startup Battlefield at TechCrunch Disrupt SF. Sendmi works pretty much like a 401k or a Flexible Spending Account. But instead of saving money for later, you set it aside to send it to your family abroad.
And this mix of payroll and remittance is what sets Sendmi apart from the countless foreign exchange services out there. It could be particularly valuable for people living paycheck to paycheck as you don’t have to take money out of your bank account to send it abroad.
Sendmi wants to sell its service to companies directly. When companies choose to partner with Sendmi, they can then offer Sendmi as a perk to their employees. And there’s some form of trust between an employer and its employees.
After that, employees can make a payroll election and decide the amount of post-tax payroll that they move to their Sendmi account.
And because all funds come from your paycheck directly, Sendmi reduces exposure to money laundering mechanisms. Many services, such as TransferWise or Western Union, have to ask you where the money is coming from to make sure that it wasn’t generated from illegal activities.
You can then connect to your Sendmi account at any time from the company’s mobile app to transfer some money. Right now, Sendmi supports transfers between the U.S. and Mexico, but the startup is already working on adding support to more corridors.
Sendmi has set up partnerships in the U.S. and Mexico so that your recipient receives money in just a few minutes. Eventually, the startup wants to offer additional financial services in the Sendmi app, such as insurance services, consumer lending, etc.
The company currently has 9 employees. It is officially launching its product today, but Sendmi has been testing it with a few clients already. The startup has raised $3.1 million so far.