Digital banking startup Cogni has raised a $23 million seed round to bring together Web2 and Web3 services on a single platform, according to Tech Crunch.
The mobile platform, founded in 2018 from the accelerator program of Barclays (which is operated by Techstars), was launched with the aim of offering personalized banking products adapted to the lifestyles of 18 to 35 year olds, said the CEO of the company. and the founder told TechCrunch.
The funding round was led by Hanwha Asset Management and CaplinFO. Solana Ventures, FTX Ventures, Ship Capital, Thirty Five Ventures, ROK Capital, Bluewatch Ventures and Alsara Investment Group also participated in the fundraising. The company last raised a $1.7 million seed round in November 2018 before its official launch, then raised a $5 million seed round in 2021, according to its CEO.
The company currently offers basic banking services such as free deposit accounts to its customers through a borrowed banking charter, as other neobanks, including Chime, would do. It also offers two lifestyle-focused products – discounted digital gift cards for brands such as Adidas and Sephora that it sources through an aggregator and a feature that calculates a company’s carbon emissions. person based on their transactions. The company would have customers in the United States.
Cogni plans to launch a multi-channel wallet, which its CEO says will be released in about two to three months (summer 2022). The Cogni platform will also offer its users access to an exchange to trade their cryptocurrency through a partnership. The company has yet to decide whether the wallet will be non-custodial, meaning users will hold and be able to access their own cryptocurrencies to transact directly.
Following the launch of the wallet, Cogni plans to offer DeFi savings accounts on the Solana blockchain with the aim of offering higher returns than traditional savings accounts, a typical feature of DeFi products in their current state. Although the company has not officially chosen a partner for this product, it plans to work with its DeFi-focused strategic investor, Ship Capital, according to its CEO.
Cogni has 24 employees in New York and San Francisco, and eight others across Europe, according to the company executive. Cogni is focused on hiring new hires with a background in Web3, both in the product and engineering teams, and is also looking to bolster its compliance team to prepare for new product launches, TechCrunch concluded. .