Neobank Cogni Raises $23M to Dive into Web3Kiana Griffin
US neobank Cogni has raised $23 million in a Series A funding round jointly led by Hanwha Asset Management and CaplinFO.
The startup, launched in 2018 by Archie Ravishankar , says its goal is to create personalized financial services based on the typical lifestyles of Generation Z and millennials. The rating assigned to the company is not disclosed.
He believes that along with providing information about the carbon emissions of transactions and digital gift cards, creating a simplified multi-chain wallet in the application will attract these users.
“86% of Millennials and Gen Z we spoke to don’t have the knowledge or time to figure out how to set up a wallet, but everyone has a bank account,” he says.
This wallet, which will be launched next year, and the upcoming DeFi-powered savings “account” will further his vision of web3 social commerce – using social media to drive e-commerce sales.
For example, Ravishankar says neobank intends to partner with a company that provides NFTs for college athletes, and the idea is that anyone with a Cogni bank account will have them in their wallet.
While the end result will be a multi-chain wallet, he says it will most likely launch first on Solana (SOL) , a participating investor through his venture arm.
However, the company may encounter some barriers to achieving this goal. To begin with, the crypto interest account created by BlockFi was fined $100 million after the SEC classified the instrument as a securities offering.
Ravishankar admitted that they are currently still working on how such an account would meet regulatory requirements, but emphasized that his intention was to provide a high-yielding account with rates higher than traditional finance.
In the crowded neobank market, the company could also run into problems with its plans. Its user count – still in the tens of thousands – is far below that of the leading neobanks in the US, where Chime and Current lead the way with 13.1 million and 4 million users, respectively. However, with this transition to web3, Cogni hopes to reach 150,000 users and is currently attracting 50-60 customers a day through word of mouth, says the founder.
Ravishankar did not disclose the valuation associated with this new funding, but said the company is already looking ahead, hoping to raise Series B in about a year.