Web3 startup Starlight debuts corporate cards for crypto firms: Exclusive

Quick Take

  • Brevan Howard-backed web3 startup Starlight has launched corporate cards that it hopes can simplify expense payments for crypto companies.
  • These cards allow both fiat and crypto payments that can be tracked via a treasury dashboard on the platform.
  • In light of recent events, other providers are pulling back from serving crypto companies. For instance, Ramp temporarily suspended payments from its cards for a small subset of crypto companies on Nov. 18. 

Starlight, a Brevan Howard-backed web3 payments startup, has launched corporate cards that aim to simplify expense payments for crypto businesses. 

The cards allow both fiat and crypto payments that can be tracked via a treasury dashboard on the platform; those payments then are loaded through a crypto wallet available through Starlight, or a checking account. Funds held in the fiat account are FDIC insured, according to the startup. Cards have adjustable limits for currencies such as bitcoin, USDC, ether or fiat. 

"These cards mean that if you're a DAO or a crypto business, you can spend with crypto in the real world," said founder and CEO Grey Nguyen in an interview. "That could be on your Amazon Web Services purchases or your travel tickets." 

The goal to build corporate cards for crypto companies aligns Starlight with a number of other venture-backed businesses launched in recent years, which look to ease payments for crypto businesses. In April this year, Rain raised $6 million from Lightspeed Ventures to launch corporate credit cards for DAOs. Starlight raised $5 million in seed funding in the same month — a round which was co-led by Abstract Ventures and A* Capital with participation from Brevan Howard. The Sequoia-backed Multis also launched corporate cards for crypto treasuries earlier this month.  

Currently, many fledging crypto startups either use a personal wallet to fund crypto-related expenses or rely on exchanges to house treasuries, said Nguyen. It can take months to complete sign ups, and leave crypto startups vulnerable to potential withdrawal stoppages, as in the case of FTX. 

The FTX fallout 

Amid crypto exchange chaos, other providers have been pulling back from serving crypto companies.

Per an email sent on Nov. 18, expenses firm Ramp temporarily suspended spending on its cards for a small subset of crypto companies, citing "unprecedented events in cryptocurrency, blockchain, NFT and DeFi ecosystem." The companies were asked to provide balance and income sheets and a list of any accounts that they held with exchanges from the last twelve months. 

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