Juno, a startup that gives checking accounts to crypto lovers and permits them to take their paychecks in digital tokens, has raised a brand new funding spherical because it expands its choices to incorporate a tokenized loyalty program.
The one-and-a-half-year outdated startup has amassed over 75,000 prospects within the U.S. who take their salaries (some in entirety, relaxation in parts) in crypto and make investments constantly in digital property every month.
Customers are capable of spend their crypto or money utilizing the startup’s Mastercard-powered debit card, make invoice funds and simply transfer funds to and from conventional banks in the event that they so want. Juno additionally affords direct onramps to prospects from a checking account to layer 2 blockchains reminiscent of Polygon, Arbitrum, and Optimism for zero charges.
The eponymous platform integrates with all standard payroll platforms within the U.S., making it simpler for purchasers who’re long run believers in crypto to maintain doubling down on their bets with out having to fret about manually shifting funds to completely different exchanges. It additionally affords prospects automated tax reporting by way of kind 1099, releasing them from having to manually sift by way of their transactions and calculate features.
On Saturday, Juno introduced it has raised $18 million in a Series A financing spherical. The funding was led by ParaFi Capital’s Growth Fund and noticed participation from scores of backers together with Greycroft, Antler Global, Hashed, Jump Crypto, Mithril, sixth Man Ventures, Abstract Ventures and Uncorrelated Fund.
Juno – which additionally counts Sequoia India’s Surge, Dragonfly Capital, Polychain Capital, Consensys Ventures, Balaji Srinivasan, Surojit Chatterjee, Sandeep Nailwal and Ryan Selkis amongst its backers – has reached $1 billion in annualized transaction quantity processing, Varun Deshpande, co-founder and chief govt of Juno, stated in an interview.
“Crypto natives in the US are finding existing banks completely inadequate for everyday use of crypto. We are rebuilding a checking account from the ground up with crypto and web3 at its core. Juno empowers members to earn part of their paycheck in crypto and use crypto for everyday transactions like bill payments or buying coffee,” he stated.
Juno’s eponymous app (Image credit: Juno)
Tokenized loyalty program
Juno, which raised a $3 million seed funding final yr, is now prepared for a brand new providing: an elective loyalty program. The startup is introducing an ERC20 token, referred to as JCOIN, which might be rewarded to prospects, in the event that they so select, based mostly on their utilization. Remarkably, Juno co-founders, staff and buyers usually are not taking any allocation within the tokens to keep away from battle of curiosity in a transfer that’s in distinction with how a big variety of business gamers function.
“We feel distributing tokens to founders, investors and team members creates misaligned incentives. Being market participants with privileged information creates distrust with community in the long term,” stated Deshpande.
“The exit path for our company’s success remains developing successful products, and the path for our investors and team remains an IPO,” he stated.
Juno took a snapshot of consumers’ utilization on Friday and has generated 150 million tokens that they’re eligible for. Each greenback spent utilizing the platform offers prospects entry to a token. Overtime, prospects should spend extra to obtain the identical quantity of tokens as rewards, he stated.
The startup, based mostly in India, is a part of a rising wave of fintech and software program corporations within the South Asian nation which can be more and more constructing for the worldwide markets. Prior to beginning Juno, Deshpande and different co-founders — Ratnesh Ray and Siddharth Verma — labored on Nuo protocol in 2019. They discontinued the protocol two years later to construct one thing that’s compliant with the rising regulatory atmosphere.
Juno has a crew that “deeply understand both fintech and crypto. Seamlessly integrating crypto and web3 in a checking account which is a trusted and familiar interface for millions of Americans can help onboard new users to web3,” stated Ryan Navi, Principal at ParaFi Capital, in a press release.
“Their empathy towards users new to web3 and passion for creating beautiful crypto-native products with compliance at its core sets them apart. They are creating an entirely new category in neo banking and we are excited to back them.”