Ripple snaps up 40% stake in Asian cross-border payments firm Tranglo
Ripple, a US-based cryptocurrency exchange and settlement system, has acquired a 40% stake in Tranglo, a Malaysia-based cross-border payments fintech.
The crypto firm, which was levelled with a fresh lawsuit for selling “millions of dollars” in digital asset XRP two months ago, says the transaction comes after “growing customer demand” in the Asia-Pacific region.
It hopes to close the stake acquisition, which is still subject to regulatory approvals, before the end of this year. Neither party commented on the value of the stake.
Hong Kong-based investment holding company TNG Fintech Group remains Tranglo’s majority stakeholder.
Firming up Southeast Asian corridors
Since its inception in 2008, Kuala Lumpur-based Tranglo has processed more than 20 million transactions adding up to $4 billion in value, according to Ripple.
Tranglo’s global network spans more than 100 countries. This includes 2,500 mobile operators, 1,300 banks or wallets, and 130,000 cash pickup points.
Ripple wants to use the minority stake to expand the reach of its ‘On-Demand Liquidity’ (ODL) product, which uses XRP to send money in real-time.
The crypto firm calls Southeast Asia’s payments landscape “highly fragmented”. “The lack of a standard integration for regional cross-border payments currently requires expensive workarounds,” the firm says in a statement.
By investing in Tranglo, Ripple hopes to firm up existing remittance corridors, such as the Philippines, as well as introduce new corridors to its network.
Looking abroad vs home
In March, MoneyGram and Ripple ended their partnership agreement two years early.
MoneyGram had used Ripple’s xRapid system – now called ODL – since 2018, and its original deal wasn’t to expire until 2023. The early divorce is a result of regulatory intervention and litigation Ripple is currently facing in the US.
Which is likely why partnerships and investments abroad, like that with Tranglo, are seeming more attractive.
Last week, Brooks Entwistle was appointed as Ripple’s head of Southeast Asian operations. He previously spent more than three years heading up Uber’s international business partnerships based out of Singapore.
Both Entwistle and Ripple’s vice president of product and delivery, Amir Sarhangi, will join Tranglo’s board of directors following the acquisition’s completion.