Cenoa, a borderless super wallet improving access to dollar-based products in emerging markets, has raised $7 million in a seed funding round led by Quiet Capital (who also backed Robinhood, OneFootball) and Underscore.
Other investors, including Human Capital, Ulu Ventures, Acrew Capital, and Collective Spark, participated in the round.
The Singapore-based startup will use the proceeds to grow its operations to expand beyond its core product and new markets in Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Europe.
Additionally, the capital will be used to hire talent across different business functions – from product development to engineering – for its fully remote global team.
Billions of people in emerging economies are suffering currency collapses as global inflation soars to a 40-year high. Unfortunately, they have few options for saving money in stable currencies like the US Dollar.
However, in many countries, the existing financial system makes buying USD either difficult or expensive, offering almost no yield.
Making USD accessible
Founded by Emre Ertan (former CPO & CTO of decacorn Getir), Seçkin Çağlın (ex-Mckinsey), Sırrı Perek (ex-Facebook), and Buğra Çakmak (ex-Google) in 2022, Cenoa introduces a borderless and non-bureaucratic way to access a digital dollar product without any fees and earn an inflation-resistant yield.
The Singapore company’s non-custodial wallet helps users make their assets devaluation-proof and increase savings growth.
Built on blockchain technology, its non-custodial savings solution cuts out the costs for branches, intermediary fees, and other inefficient procedures of traditional banking.
The company intends to add US Dollar-based debit cards and instant money transfers within the next 18 months.
Cenoa is currently available across 35 markets and targets to onboard millions of customers globally. With 1,000 private users in beta phase, the company is integrated with BiLira and Transak, which connect Cenoa with the local banking systems.
Seçkin Çağlın, Founder and Co-CEO of Cenoa, said, “Cenoa offers easy access to digital dollar-based products, 100 percent designed for the everyday user. We believe in using modern technologies such as blockchain to provide one-click access to the digital dollar
ecosystem to benefit the customers that need that access most – those in emerging economies lacking stable currencies like Argentina and Nigeria. People in these countries should be able to easily and affordably access US Dollars and beat inflation while saving, a function the traditional financial system has failed to provide.”
Emre Ertan, Founder and Co-CEO of Cenoa, added, “We are delighted to welcome all our new investors of our US$7 million Seed fundraise, which will provide us with the necessary liquidity to scale our borderless and zero-fee product to hundreds of thousands of new users in 2023. Our successful and diligent beta-testing phase has proven to be viable for large-scale adoption, and we have received an incredible amount of customer interest – the number of users on our early access waitlist exceeds 10,000 and grows every day.”
Michael Bloch, Partner at Quiet Capital, commented, “Cenoa is on a mission to broaden access to the US financial ecosystem, which will enable billions of people around the world to safely protect & grow their wealth. As early investors in many disruptive fintech companies, we similarly see untapped, significant potential for simple & safe solutions like Cenoa that can unlock new services to the people that need them most.”
Richard Dulude, Partner at Underscore VC, commented, “Contrary to what is commonly believed, turbulent economic times make the best start-ups and contribute to the maturing of frontier technologies. Millions around the world see their hard-earned savings
evaporate due to inflation – and are stuck with local banks unwilling to help them. Cenoa solves this head-on by integrating users worldwide into the digital dollar economy. We strongly believe in this mission of financial inclusion, and its financial viability, as it serves the needs of people in emerging markets and fights global inequality.”
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