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New web3 fintech emerges from stealth with a $9.5m seed round

Merge wants to bring banking and payments infrastructure to the Web3 economy.

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Kebbie Sebastian

After a burst of excitement about ‘web3’ in 2021, more new startups are appearing to provide its financial infrastructure.

One such example is Merge, founded by Kebbie Sebastian, a former PayPal and Barclays executive, alongside former Coinbase and Luno executives.

The company, which aims to provide banking and payment infrastructure for Web3 companies, has just raised a $9.5m seed round.

Octopus Ventures led the funding round, which also included investors such as Hashed, Coinbase Ventures, Alameda Research and Ethereal Ventures. Other investors included the founder of Aave, co-founder of Polygon, CEO of Ledger and Barclays' former CEO of Consumer Banking amongst other angel investors.

Merge operates an API-based banking and payments platform, bridging the gap between fiat and crypto ecosystems.

“As the crypto economy moves further into the mainstream, it’s increasingly clear that the current financial infrastructure isn’t fit to serve the rapid expansion of crypto-native businesses and many providers aren’t specialised enough to gauge risk, said Zihao Xu, investor at Octopus Ventures.

“Merge’s vision is to build the infrastructure necessary to allow crypto businesses to operate without fear of shutdown by regulators or third-party risk teams,” he added.

Sebastian led PayPal’s financial products business in the UK and worked in product development at Barclaycard. He also founded Penser, a UK based fintech-focused advisory firm.

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