Cion Digital, a crypto infrastructure startup building tools for traditional financial institutions, has raised $12 million in a seed funding round.
Green Visor Capital and 645 Ventures co-led the round, with Cota Capital, Epic Ventures, Hourglass Capital Partners, BAT Ventures, Greycroft, and Ulu Ventures also participating.
Cion's founder and CEO Snehal Fulzele told The Block that he plans to use the capital to expand the firm's team and launch its infrastructure platform. Cion's current headcount is 20, and Fulzele expects to grow the team to 45 by the end of this year. Cion is planning to open a research and development center in Pune, India, and hire engineers.
As for the platform, its first version is expected to be launched in the first quarter of this year, said Fulzele. It is aimed at helping non-crypto native organizations such as traditional financial institutions and registered investment advisory firms to offer crypto services.
Cion is currently piloting its platform with "half-a-dozen customers," including a fintech lender and a vehicle dealer, according to Fulzele. The fintech lender wants to allow its customers to invest in crypto and eventually offer fiat loans against crypto. The vehicle dealer, on the other hand, wants to enable crypto financing for millennials and generation Z who typically don't qualify for traditional financing, said Fulzele.
As for its business model, Cion will charge a fixed monthly platform fee and a transaction fee based on the volume of digital assets processed (bought, sold, received, sent) by the platform, said Fulzele.
The seed funding round is Cion's first capital raise and an equity round. The lead investors Green Visor Capital and 645 Ventures have also joined Cion's board of directors.