Stellar Development Foundation debuts $30 million matching fund

The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) has launched a $30 million matching fund for early-stage companies building on the Stellar blockchain.

The fund is a branch of SDF's Enterprise Fund, the firm's venture arm investing in startups within the Stellar ecosystem. It plans to match investments up to $500,000 from the lead funding source. The idea is to boost funding to early-stage companies in jurisdictions that could benefit from blockchain-powered solutions. 

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"The Stellar ecosystem is working to address challenges like inflation, affordable remittances, and the high cost of capital — and we’re investing in solutions to these problems through the Matching Fund," said Senior Director of Investments Andrea Lo in a statement.

The inaugural investments are already targeting these problems. The Matching Fund portfolio includes: Trace Finance, a cross-border payment platform using stablecoins to connect Latin American startups with overseas funding; Bitwage, a blockchain-based payroll service focused on Latin America; Afriex, a payments app leveraging blockchain to provide free payments across Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda; and Fanvestor, a crowdfund-model NFT platform. 

SDF's venture arm has previously shown interest in funding solutions for emerging markets. In May of 2021, it invested $15 million in Airtm, a Mexico-based digital wallet and crypto exchange. That marked its largest investment to date, and followed four other investments in Latin American-based firms.