Eco, which has developed a global digital cryptocurrency platform, announced on Friday that it had raised $ 26 million in a funding round led by a16z Crypto.
Founded in 2018, the SF-based startup’s platform is designed to be used as a worldwide payment tool for daily transactions. The company insists that it is “not a bank, a checking account or a credit card”.
“We’re building something better than all of those combined,” he said in a blog post. The company’s mission has also been described as an effort to use cryptocurrency as a means “to marry savings and expense,” according to this CoinList article.
Eco users can earn up to 5% per year on their deposits and get 5% cash back when dealing with merchants such as Amazon, Uber and others. Next: The company says it will give its users the ability to pay bills, pay friends and more “from one single wallet.” That same wallet, he says, rewards people every time they spend or save.
After a “successful” alpha test with millions of dollars deposited, the company’s Eco App is now available to the public.
A large number of other venture capital firms were involved in Eco’s latest fundraiser, including Founders Fund, Activant Capital, Slow Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Tribe Capital, Valor Capital Group and over a hundred other funds and angel investors. Expa and Pantera Capital co-led the company’s $ 8.5 million funding round.
CoinList co-founder Andy Bromberg stepped down last fall to lead Eco. The startup was originally called Beam before changing its brand to Eco “thanks to the involvement of the founding advisor, Garrett Camp, who owned the Eco brand,” according to Coindesk. Camp is a co-founder of Uber and Expa is its venture capital fund.
For a16z Crypto, leading the round is in line with its mission.
In a blog post co-authored by Katie Haun and Arianna Simpson, the company explained why they are excited about Eco and its plans.
“One of the challenges of any new industry – crypto is no exception – is to create things that are not just cool for fun, but that manage to touch and delight a wide range of users,” said they wrote. “Technology is at its best when it improves people’s lives in tangible and tangible ways… At a16z Crypto, we are constantly looking for ways to put cryptocurrency in the hands of the next billion people. How do we think this will happen? By helping them achieve what they already want to do – spend, save, and make money – and by focusing users on tangible benefits, not the underlying technology. “
Eco is not the only crypto platform to offer rewards to users. Lolli offers users free bitcoin or cash when shopping at over 1000 department stores.
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