People in the Global South are often subject to terrible fluctuations in the value of their currency, as well as hyperinflation. At the same time, many of them do not have bank accounts, but can still access a crypto wallet. The way for these populations to access more stable currencies would be to access stablecoins that are pegged to the US dollar, but most crypto platforms are less user friendly.
This thinking behind check, a fintech startup that allows cryptocurrency payments in a user-friendly application. He has now raised a $2 million preliminary round led by London-based Connect Ventures, along with Semantic Ventures, firstminute Capital and 30 angel investors including former management of Monzo, Revolut and Tide.
Cheq now hopes to establish itself as a viable payment option with USD-pegged stablecoins. And because it uses stablecoins, it also avoids middleman fees and many approval requirements.
Chris Butcher (no relation) was previously co-founder and CTO of Portify, but also founded a spin-off project called Token Alerts in Latin America. From this experience, he learned that stablecoins were popular in the region as a way to prevent hyperinflation.
The check says that users connect a crypto wallet to the platform and then use the app like a modern neobank. Cheq can create payment links so that customers can pay with cryptocurrencies through these links. Cheq then collects the names and addresses of the buyers and follows up with other services to get the sellers to complete the orders.
Cheq is also aimed at SaaS companies looking to add a crypto option alongside their existing payment processor, such as for events. It can be used with a wallet that supports payments on the Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, or Polygon chains. But does not offer bitcoin as it is obviously not pegged to the dollar.
In a statement, Butcher said: “Although cryptocurrencies have their diehard fans, many people still find them complex and without tangible value in everyday settings. We believe that a crypto wallet can be a great business bank account, and stablecoins provide funds for international trade without the costs associated with card payments.”
Rory Stirling, General Partner of Connect Ventures commented: “Chris and his team have a unique perspective on building a web3 company, insisting that the mass market needs a clean and simple product that removes the complexity and confusion that characterizes this sector. I was amazed at how quickly they executed. In December 2021, Chris pitched me an idea. By March, they had created an amazing product and were making tens of thousands of dollars weekly.”
Cheq has competitors. Platforms like Coinbase commerce or Binance pay create similar offerings but still use a fairly advanced crypto interface.
Credit: techcrunch.com /