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PayPal’s ex-exec startup raises $9.5M to help Web3 companies with payment infrastructure

Image credits: Merge

Merge, a London-based fintech infrastructure company announced on Monday that it has secured $9.5M in a Seed round led by Octopus Ventures. 

Others, including Hashed, Coinbase Ventures, Alameda Research, Ethereal Ventures, and angel investors like the founder of Aave, co-founder of Polygon, CEO of Ledger, and former CEO of Barclays Consumer Banking, amongst other prominent investors, participated in the round. 

What does Merge solve?

Currently, the web3 economy is estimated to be a $1T market opportunity, yet crypto businesses are still perceived as high-risk by tier 1 banks. As a result, it continues to be underserved by digital payment providers that lack a range of products, services, and global coverage.

Here’s where the UK’s Merge comes fills the gap. Founded by Kebbie Sebastian, a former PayPal and Barclays executive, alongside former Coinbase and Luno executives, Merge provides banking and payment infrastructure for Web3 companies without the hefty fees and poor functionality that are usually associated with these services.

How does it work?

Through a single API, Merge provides crypto and web3 companies with a range of banking and payments solutions enabling them to create bank accounts, send payments and seamlessly convert funds between fiat and crypto.

Merge says it can be easily embedded within their applications via an easy-to-use API-first platform. The company reduces the cost and complexity of embedding financial services for crypto companies while lowering the burden of managing multiple integrations and global licencing requirements.

Zihao Xu, an investor at Octopus Ventures comments, “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.

Baek Kyoum Kim, partner at Hashed adds, “Exponential growth of crypto startups evidently led to a 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.”

“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”, adds Zihao Xu.

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