Stellar Development Foundation Launches $30 Million Fund
The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF)The launch of the $30 million Matching FundIt is unique in that it co-invests with investors around the world, matching investment raised by a lead investee up to $500,000. The Fund is available to pre-seed and Series B companies that are interested in the Stellar blockchain. It also offers an opportunity for early-stage companies looking to increase their fundraising efforts. The Fund was created by SDF to give more companies at early stages access to capital to help them grow and develop blockchain-based solutions. This is crucial in markets with weak venture ecosystems, in particular when compared to the demand for capital from financial service companies. Andrea Lo, SDF’s Head of Investments, said, “The Matching Fund is a way for SDF to promote early stage experimentation for real-world use cases that provide value to more consumers. In 2022, we’re putting our funding behind more innovators in geographies that need blockchain-powered solutions. The Stellar ecosystem is working to address challenges like inflation, affordable remittances, and the high cost of capital — and we’re investing in solutions to these problems through the Matching Fund.” The Fund’s first four investments announced today support a range of companies working on diverse markets and use cases, from payroll in Latin AmericaRemittances in Africa. Trace Finance is a cross-border payment platform that leverages stablecoins to help startups in Latin AmericaAccess to funding from overseas is more accessible (up to 2 weeks instead of months), and more affordably (from just 4% per transaction up to 0.2%). Inflation has been a problem. BrazilThe local startup sector is expanding regardless of where they are located. In fact, there have been record-breaking IPOs in the 2021. Stellar stablecoins could be leveraged to help them reduce costs and offer more financial products. Circle Ventures, HOF Capital, and Circle Ventures are the co-investors. Bitwage provides crypto-powered international payroll, invoicing, and benefits services with a focus on Latin America. As a more efficient and liquid way to store value, the international freelance market will want to pay in cryptocurrency and stablecoins. Bitwage anticipates that it will capture more of these. $1.2 Trillionmarket and has been processed $120 MillionTransactions Integration with Stellar may optimize transactions in difficult to reach places. Draper Associates, Gaingels and Gaingels are co-investors at Bitwage. Afriex is a payment app that is addressing the issue of slow and expensive remittance payments. They offer cross-border payments free of charge to users in emerging countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya?, and UgandaIntegration with the Stellar anchor network may help them expand into new markets. Future Africa, Softbank Opportunity Fund and Precursor Ventures are co-investors in Afriex. FanVestor is a crowdfunding platform that connects NFT creators to their customers. FanVestor will use the investment to test Stellar, which is more affordable and easier to access than NFTs on other chains. This can leave creators out of underserved markets and make it prohibitively expensive. FanVestor also has co-investors such as Formic Ventures or industry-specific angels. Denelle Dixon, SDF’s CEO and Executive Director, said, “We need to be more nimble and inclusive in order to truly build an industry that reaches more people with better access to financial services. We make a lot of decisions about how we fund companies, especially in the early stages. At SDF, we deliberately encourage and build out investments in real use cases for blockchain that will benefit everyday people. We invite companies to apply and see how Stellar’s dynamic global ecosystem can support your growth.” The Matching Fund is an investment track within SDF’s Enterprise Fund targeting new or existing Stellar ecosystem companies. Find out more about the Matching Fund, and how you can apply. stellar.org/foundation/matching-fund.