Januar, the financial infrastructure partner for crypto businesses, has secured a historic seed funding round led by venture capital firm Element Ventures. The €6 million round is the largest seed round recorded in Denmark.
Businesses operating within the digital asset space have had an extremely difficult time getting one of the most fundamental assets to business operation: a bank account.
Januar is not a bank, but solves this problem by offering local IBAN business accounts to crypto businesses in Europe through its first-of-its-kind Payment Service Provider License with the Danish FSA.
Founded in 2021 by ex-Chainalysis compliance experts, crypto entrepreneurs, and fintech veterans, Januar is now ramping up to meet demand across Europe and rapidly expand its product with new features.
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK | THURSDAY MAY 5TH, 2022 – Januar ApS (januar.com) has closed the largest seed round in Danish history, a historic €6 million round led by Element Ventures, with participation from Angular Ventures, Outward VC, and early pre-seed backers byFounders.
The round also includes well-renowned angel investors including Nicolas Julia, co-founder and CEO of Sorare, Charlie Songhurst, former Head of Strategy at Microsoft, Pierre-Antoine Pierre, CEO and Founder IBanFirst, Jørgen Horwitz, former Director of Finansrådet as well as Einar Braathen from CoinFund.
With the proceeds from the seed round, Januar aims to become the leading one-stop crypto gate for European businesses, serving the growing crypto and digital asset industry with a market cap of $2 trillion. The company is on a mission to support a more open and collaborative financial system based on decentralized technology by offering fiat-to-crypto rails as a service.
“We are building financial infrastructure that will help crypto companies gain the stable foundation they need to innovate and serve their customers with peace of mind. For years, legacy financial service providers have failed to serve these new digital asset businesses, leaving them at risk of being shut down with days’ notice. It’s time we recognize that entrepreneurs building the future of our financial system deserve an IBAN account, like any other business,” says Simon Ousager, CEO and co-founder of Januar.
Januar is launching crypto-friendly financial services for businesses across Europe; starting with payment accounts for crypto businesses. Januar is well-positioned to do so after having obtained its first-of-its-kind Payment Service Provider license with the Danish FSA, including crypto-specific risk, compliance, and AML policies.
“We are delighted to back Januar in their mission to build this most critical piece of European financial services infrastructure – connecting old and new worlds. The market need is clear, Januar has the team, industry support and product offering to become a key component in Europe’s digital future,” comments Steve Gibson, Partner at Element Ventures.
“The Payment Service Provider license granted to us by the Danish FSA marks the next chapter for the European crypto industry and signifies trust in us that we’re among the best in the world at quantifying and managing risk in this space. We are motivated by the opportunity to help bring trust and transparency to these innovative crypto and Web3 businesses across Europe.
“Traditional banks are not ready for what is happening in the crypto markets right now. For many years they focused on the ‘technology’ while writing off the actual category of innovative digital assets – their ‘Blockchain not Bitcoin’ strategy did not align with the market. And while the value and usage of assets, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, multiplied many times over, the dismissive approach of most banks left them with little insights into crypto-specific compliance measurements and an inability to properly serve and support the industry. With Januar, we are here to close that gap now by providing financial services to crypto businesses and crypto services to financial institutions,” adds Simon Ousager, CEO and co-founder of Januar.
“Building financial infrastructure for the crypto economy that is fit for purpose is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Januar’s mission of bringing trust and transparency to innovative digital assets and Web3 businesses resonated strongly with us and we are delighted to support the mission,” comments Kevin Chong, Co-Head of Outward VC
Digital assets and decentralized transaction systems are faster, better, and cheaper and it is changing the way value moves between people and businesses globally. Europe, at the moment, is a suppressed and underserved market. In the US market, crypto banks such as Silvergate and Anchorage are forging ahead.
“We are proud to enable innovative fintech entrepreneurs to run and grow their digital asset business by providing the financial infrastructure they need to build the financial system of tomorrow,” says Simon Ousager, CEO and co-founder.