Nume Crypto, a new crypto payments processing startup, has raised $2 million in a pre-seed funding round.
Sequoia Capital India led the round, with participation from Beenext and Whiteboard Capital. Several angel investors, including Polygon co-founder Jaynti Kanani, former Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan, Google engineering lead Arun Samudrala, and BlockTower Capital general partner Sanat Rao also participated in the round.
Nume Crypto is founded by two Indian sisters — Madhumitha and Niveda Harishankar — who aim to boost the use of crypto for payments.
Currently, several technical barriers stand in the way of crypto adoption for payments, according to the Harishankars. These include high blockchain transaction costs and low transaction capacity.
"The market for crypto payments hasn't been cracked yet," Niveda told The Block. "Nume's core offering is a payment protocol which has no lower bound on the cost of transactions. This enables disruptively low-cost crypto transactions for consumers and merchants. We believe this could be a turning point and enabler for mass adoption of crypto payments."
For both retail and business
Nume Crypto is building its payments processor for both retail and business clients, dubbed NumePay and NumePay Business, respectively.
NumePay is a non-custodial wallet that will allow retail customers to deposit their crypto and start shopping with businesses integrated with NumePay checkout. "We are currently in talks with enterprises of varying sizes and domains," said Niveda.
NumePay Business, on the other hand, enables businesses to start offering crypto payment options to their customers at 1% per transaction.
Nume Crypto says it has built its own new Layer 2 scaling network called Nume Protocol that will support crypto payments at "near zero-cost." Initially, it will support ether (ETH) and ERC-20 tokens for payments.
The Harishankar sisters have prior experience in engineering and building products. Madhumitha holds a PhD in incentive design in wireless networks (focusing on streaming crypto micropayments for data use) from Carnegie Mellon University and was previously a software engineer at Barclays and Amazon Web Services.
Niveda, on the other hand, was a user experience designer at Amazon across the Marketplace, Alexa and Kindle teams. She led the design for the world's first multi-voice assistant integration between Amazon's Alexa and Microsoft's Cortana, and built a new reading experience from 0 to 1 in Kindle, for which she holds a patent.
The two sisters are also part of the first cohort of Sequoia Spark, a year-long fellowship program combining capital and mentorship that 15 women-led startups in India and Southeast Asia were chosen for.
With fresh equity capital in hand, Nume Crypto plans to launch its payments platform in the fourth quarter of this year. There are currently seven people working on Nume, which was founded last November. Nume is based in the US, but the Harishankar sisters split their time between Bangalore, India and New Jersey, the US.
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