Merge has raised $9.5 million in a seed round to develop its API-based banking and payments platform, bridging the gap between fiat and crypto ecosystems.
Merge addresses the struggle that many companies in the crypto economy face in being able to access traditional financial services without the hefty fees and poor functionality that are usually associated with these services.
The round was led by Octopus Ventures and included Hashed, Coinbase Ventures, Alameda Research and Ethereal Ventures, alongside angel investors which included some of the biggest names in both crypto and traditional finance; the founder of Aave, co-founder of Polygon, CEO of Ledger, and former CEO of Barclays Consumer Banking, amongst other prominent investors.
The web3 economy is estimated to represent a $1 trillion market opportunity, yet crypto businesses are perceived as high-risk by tier 1 banks and continue to be underserved by digital payment providers that lack the range of products and services, as well as global coverage that crypto and web3 businesses need to be able to grow and scale.
Zihao Xu, investor at Octopus Ventures commented: “As the crypto economy moves further into the mainstream, it’s increasingly clear that the current financial infrastructure isn’t fit to serve the rapid expansion of crypto-native businesses and many providers aren’t specialised enough to gauge risk.
Kebbie Sebastian, a former PayPal and Barclays executive, alongside former Coinbase and Luno executives have come together to offer the solution. Merge will provide a seamless way for crypto and web3 companies to hold and transfer fiat funds, convert between fiat and crypto as well as manage compliance, all within its simple to integrate API.
“Merge’s vision is to build the infrastructure necessary to allow crypto businesses to operate without fear of shutdown by regulators or third-party risk teams. We’re excited to back them as they build that and, ultimately, unleash even more innovation in crypto and defi.”
— Zihao Xu
Baek Kyoum Kim, partner at Hashed added: “Exponential growth of crypto startups evidently led to dramatic increase in CeFi and DeFi assets under management, giving us strong confidence in Merge as the infrastructure provider to those institutions. Institutional players will naturally seek a reliable compliance infrastructure, and Merge is the only one-stop solution that is specifically catering to their needs.”
Through a single API, Merge provides crypto and web3 companies with a range of banking and payments solutions enabling them to instantly create bank accounts, send payments and seamlessly convert funds between fiat and crypto.
Merge reduces the cost and complexity of embedding financial services for crypto companies while lowering the burden of managing multiple integrations and global licencing requirements.
For more information, visit www.mergedup.com
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