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Fintech startup Cheq raises $2 million to bring crypto to the masses

Source: Cheq

Cheq, the fintech enabling easier cryptocurrency payments, has raised a $2 million pre-seed round led by Connect Ventures, alongside Semantic Ventures, firstminute Capital, and 30 angels including former leadership from Monzo, Revolut and Tide.

The funding will enable Cheq to establish itself as the primary option for taking payment with stablecoins that are pegged to the US dollar, removing price volatility for both merchant and consumer. The result is a user experience similar to traditional payment platforms but without intermediary fees and cumbersome approval requirements.

Chris Butcher (formerly co-founder and CTO of Portify) founded Cheq in December 2021 after his crypto side-project Token Alerts found success in Latin America. He realised many consumers in the region are turning to stablecoins as a way of protecting their wealth against hyperinflation that their native currencies may be prone to. Traditional payment infrastructures can be less effective in some regions, and crypto payments present the solution for these regions. However, existing crypto payment solutions do not deliver a user experience that is accessible to the mass market.

With Cheq, users can connect a crypto wallet to the platform and instantly access a user interface similar to a modern neobank. Cheq instantly creates payment links that can be embedded on a website or shared on social media so customers can pay with crypto in a single click. Cheq is able to collect information including names and addresses from the buyer and can be configured to perform follow-on actions with other services for merchants to fulfil orders.

Cheq is designed for SaaS companies that would like to add a crypto option alongside the existing fiat payment processor, or international freelancers who want to avoid losing revenue in transaction fees. Cheq has also proven popular with event organisers who want to accept crypto but need to tie payment to the identity of the person attending. Cheq’s early success with event organisers has already seen the three-month-old startup process nearly $100,000 in crypto payments in this area alone.

Cheq’s mission is to bring cryptocurrency to the mainstream. To date, crypto payments are often a complex process that excludes them from being used by the general public. Cheq’s platform is designed to minimise this complexity and provide a user experience that is on par with leading consumer fintech apps that have simplicity at their core.

Cheq can be used with any wallet and supports payments on the Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain or Polygon chains

Chris Butcher, Founder of Cheq commented: “While cryptocurrency has its diehard fans, many people still find them complex and lacking tangible value in a day-to-day setting. We believe a crypto wallet has the potential to be an amazing business bank account, and stablecoins provide the means to trade across borders without the costs typical of card payments. Emerging economies where online payments frequently fail and business bank accounts are hard to open could massively benefit from this revolution. All that’s missing is a quality user experience layer, and that’s what Cheq provides.”

Rory Stirling, General Partner at Connect Ventures commented: “Chris and his team have a unique perspective on building a web3 company, insisting that the mass market wants a clean and easy product that removes the complexity and confusion typical of the sector. I’ve been blown away by how quickly they’ve executed. In December 2021 Chris was pitching me an idea. By March they had built a stunning product and were processing tens of thousands of dollars every week.”

Mike Hudack, former CPO at Monzo and investor in Cheq commented: "In the future, a big portion of e-commerce will be paid for with crypto. Cheq makes this possible today, for businesses anywhere in the world. They're providing real utility for real people; the promise of crypto & web3 with the user-centrism of web2 fintech."

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