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New bank, who dis? Lifestyle-focused neobank Cogni pivots to web3 –

launching digital banking Cogni joins companies jumping on the crypto bandwagon. Mobile-based devices, established in 2016 outside the Barclays acceleration program (managed by Techstars), were launched with the aim of offering unique banking products tailored to the lifestyle of those 18-to-35s, the manager said. and founder Archie Ravishankar told TechCrunch.

Now, Cogni has raised $ 23 million in funding led by Hanwha Asset Management and CaplinFO with a new mission – bringing web2 and web3 services together into one platform, Ravishankar said. Solana Ventures, FTX Ventures, Ship Capital, Thirty-Five Ventures, ROK Capital, Bluewatch Ventures, and Alsara Investment Group also participated in fundraising.

The company last raised $ 1.7 million in turnover in November 2018 before officially launching, and raised $ 5 million in bee growth last year, according to Ravishankar.

“When we started, crypto was not part of our agenda, because we really wanted to build a financial platform that suited people’s lifestyle. When crypto and blockchain became people’s lifestyle in 2021, that’s when we decided to is more attractive to build web3 than web2, ”said Ravishankar.

Cogni founder and manager Archie Ravishankar

Cogni founder and manager Archie Ravishankar

The company now provides its customers with basic banking services such as free deposit accounts through bank charter, as well as other major banks including Chime. It also offers two lifestyle-based products – discounted digital gift cards to popular brands such as Adidas and Sephora that produce a combination and feature that calculates individual carbon emissions based on their customer. Ravishankar said the company serves “tens of thousands” of customers in the United States, although he declined to share a specific number.

The first crypto-related product it plans to launch is the multi-chain wallet, which Ravishankar estimates will be released in about two to three months. The Cogni site will also provide its users to find alternatives to trade in cryptocurrency through partnerships; Ravishankar said she limited the contestants to two major exchanges, but did not share the ones she was considering.

He noted that the company has not yet decided whether the wallet will be non-existent, meaning that users will have and will be able to access cryptocurrencies to deal with directly. By reference, major crypto exchanges like Coinbase offer both types of wallets, although the standard Coinbase product is a wallet where users can trade crypto based on price movements but cannot directly access their currency. they have.

Following the launch of the wallet, Cogni plans to offer a DeFi storage account on the Solana blockchain with the aim of providing higher productivity than traditional storage accounts, a standard feature of DeFi products in their current state. While the company has not yet officially decided which partners for this product, it is considering working with its strategic investor DeFi. Ship’s capitalaccording to Ravishankar.

In Ravishankar’s view, Cogni’s pivot to web3 still fits the company’s original goal of building a bank that aims to capture the short-term costs of young customers. Cogni will use its basic banking services as a platform for customers and then build more social and lifestyle services related to crypto and web3 in the long run, he noted.

Both the neobank market and web3-focused banking services are highly competitive. Cogni’s pivot to web3 is likely to be an offer to stand out among the ranks of digital banking competitors each offering its own integration and niche products for specific statistics, ultimately fulfilling the same basic functions. of traditional banks.

Cogni neobank user interface that focuses on Crypto

Lifestyle focused neobank Cogni mobile interface Copyright: Cogni

On the crypto side, there are many independent providers of DeFi savings accounts, fixed crypto exchanges and hold and hold wallets on the market today. Ravishankar believes that Cogni will be able to come out by providing all of the above in one platform that also provides traditional banking services. He also pointed to Cogni’s user-friendly interface and focused on customer service as well as the potential benefits of this cramped space.

Most Americans “are looking for a plug-and-play solution for the existing web3 system,” Ravishankar said. “They don’t want to download too many applications or learn jargon,” he continued, explaining that simple and easy-to-use solutions are likely to be very popular with users.

Cogni has 24 employees in New York and San Francisco today, with eight more across Europe, according to Ravishankar. The company had ~ 18 employees when it raised its seed in the 2018 round and then reduced it during the disaster before growing again in size, Ravishankar said. It focuses on creating new recruits originally from web3, both product and engineering teams, and also raises its adherence team to prepare for the production of new products, he added.