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Web3 Banking Platform Juno Raises $18 Million, Launches Encrypted Loyalty Program TechCrunch


Juno, a startup that provides checking accounts to crypto enthusiasts and allows them to receive funds in digital tokens, has raised a new round of funding as it expands its services. to include an encrypted loyalty program.

The more than a year and a half year old startup has attracted over 75,000 customers in the United States, who receive their salaries (some in full, some in part) in cryptocurrencies and steadily invest in their accounts. digital assets every month.

Customers can spend their crypto or cash with the startup’s Mastercard debit card, pay bills, and easily transfer funds to and from traditional banks if they so desire. Juno also offers direct-to-customer services from checking accounts to layer 2 blockchains like Polygon, Arbitrum, and Optimism for zero fees.

The eponymous platform integrates with all popular US pay platforms, making it easy for customers who are long-term crypto believers to continue to double their bets without having to worry about manually transferring funds to different exchanges. It also provides clients with automatic tax reporting through a 1099 form, which saves them from having to manually screen their transactions and calculate returns.

On Saturday, Juno announced it had raised $18 million in a Series A funding round. The funding was led by ParaFi Capital’s Growth Fund and saw participation from a wide range of backers including including Greycroft, Antler Global, Hashed, Jump Crypto, Mithril, 6th Man Ventures, Abstract Ventures and Uncor Related Fund.

Juno – which also includes Sequoia India’s Surge, Dragonfly Capital, Polychain Capital, Consensys Ventures, Balaji Srinivasan, Surojit Chatterjee, Sandeep Nailwal and Ryan Selkis among backers – has reached $1 billion in trading volume processing every year, Varun Deshpande, co-founder and chief executive officer of Juno, said in an interview.

“Crypto natives in the US are finding current banks completely inadequate for daily crypto use. We are rebuilding the checking account from the ground up with crypto and web3 at its core. Juno empowers members to earn a portion of their salary in crypto and use crypto for everyday transactions like paying bills or buying coffee,” he said.

Juno’s App of the same name (Image Credit: Juno)

Coded loyalty program

Juno, which raised $3 million in seed funding last year, is now ready for a new service: an optional loyalty program. The startup is introducing an ERC20 token, called JCOIN, that will be rewarded to customers, if they choose, based on their usage. Notably, Juno’s co-founders, employees, and investors did not make any allocations in the token to avoid a conflict of interest in a move that is contrary to how a certain amount works. major players in the industry.

“We feel that distributing tokens to founders, investors, and team members creates misleading incentives. Being market participants with privileged information creates distrust with the community in the long run, says Deshpande.

“The way out for our company’s success is still developing successful products, and the way out for our investors and team is still an IPO,” he said.

Juno took a snapshot of customer usage on Friday and generated 150 million tokens for which they were eligible. Every dollar spent using the platform gives customers access to a token. Overtime, customers will have to spend more to get the same amount of tokens as rewards, he said.

The India-based startup is part of a growing wave of fintech and software companies in the South Asian country that are increasingly building for global markets. Before starting Juno, Deshpande and other co-founders – Ratnesh Ray and Siddharth Verma – worked on the Nuo protocol in 2019. They discontinued the protocol two years later to build something compliant. comply with the evolving regulatory environment.

Juno has a team that “understands both fintech and crypto deeply. Seamless integration of crypto and web3 in one checking account, an interface that is trusted and familiar to millions of Americans can help new users access web3,” Ryan Navi, Principal at ParaFi Capital, said in a statement.

“Their empathy for web3 novices and their passion for creating beautiful crypto-native products with compliance at its core sets them apart. They are creating a whole new category in the new bank and we are delighted to support them.”

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