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. 

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Aislinn Keely is a reporter on The Block's policy team holding down the legal beat. She covers court decisions, bankruptcies, regulatory actions and other key moments in the legal sphere, putting them in context for the wider crypto industry. Before The Block, she lent her voice to the NPR affiliate WFUV and helmed Fordham University's student newspaper. Send tips or thoughts on all things policy and legal to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter for updates @AislinnKeely.