Fintech startup Cheq, which enables easier cryptocurrency payments, has just secured $2 million in a pre-seed funding round. The investment round was led by Connect Ventures, which recently invested in MoonPay and Typeform, alongside Semantic Ventures, firstminute Capital, and 30 angels including former leadership from Monzo, Revolut and Tide.
The investment will be used to enable the company to establish itself as the primary option to take payment with stablecoins that are pegged to the US dollar, thereby removing the price volatility for both merchants and consumers. As a result, it will bring about a user experience that is similar to traditional payment platforms sans intermediary fees and cumbersome approvals. Also, it has been launched from stealth mode.
Chris Butcher, Founder of Cheq commented: “While cryptocurrency has its diehard fans, many people still find them complex and lacking tangible value in a day-to-day setting. We believe a crypto wallet has the potential to be an amazing business bank account, and stablecoins provide the means to trade across borders without the costs typical of card payments. Emerging economies where online payments frequently fail and business bank accounts are hard to open could massively benefit from this revolution. All that’s missing is a quality user experience layer, and that’s what Cheq provides.”
Rory Stirling, General Partner at Connect Ventures commented: “Chris and his team have a unique perspective on building a web3 company, insisting that the mass market wants a clean and easy product that removes the complexity and confusion typical of the sector. I’ve been blown away by how quickly they’ve executed. In December 2021 Chris was pitching me an idea. By March they had built a stunning product and were processing tens of thousands of dollars every week.”
Mike Hudack, former CPO at Monzo and investor in Cheq commented: “In the future, a big portion of e-commerce will be paid for with crypto. Cheq makes this possible today, for businesses anywhere in the world. They’re providing real utility for real people; the promise of crypto & web3 with the user-centrism of web2 fintech.”
How was Cheq born?
Chris Butcher, the former co-founder and CTO of Portify founded Cheq in December 2021 after his crypto side-project Token Alerts found success in Latin America. He realised that many consumers in the region are turning to stablecoins as a way of protecting their wealth against hyperinflation that their native currencies may be prone to. It is headquartered in the USA with offices in London.
Its mission is to bring cryptocurrency to the mainstream. To date, crypto payments are often a complex process that excludes them from being used by the general public. Cheq’s platform is designed to minimise this complexity and provide a user experience that is on par with leading consumer fintech apps that have simplicity at their core. It can be used with any wallet and supports payments on the Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain or Polygon chains
Eases cryptocurrency payments
Cheq enables users to connect a crypto wallet to the platform and gain instant access to a user interface similar to those offered by modern neobanks. It creates payment links instantly and these can be embedded either on a website or shared on social media for customers to pay with crypto in a single click. The fintech startup lets users collect information, including names and addresses from buyers. It can be configured to carry out actions with other services to let merchants fulfil orders.
The US fintech is designed for SaaS companies that would like to add a crypto option alongside the existing fiat payment processor, or international freelancers who want to avoid losing revenue in transaction fees. It is also popular with event organisers who want to accept crypto but need to tie payment to the identity of the person attending. The four-month-old startup has already processed nearly $100,000 in crypto payments in this area alone.