Aiming to help consumers that have felt the sting of inflation, mainly in emerging markets, technically Singapore-based, but with a majority of staff based in Türkiye, startup Cenoa has raised $7 million in a seed funding round. The capital raise is aimed at helping the company expand both beyond its core product as well as into new markets including Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Europe.
Cenoa’s $7 million seed round was led by early backer of Robinhood, Quiet Capital and Underscore VC. The round also saw the participation of Human Capital, Ulu Ventures, Acrew Capital, and Collective Spark.
Founded by Emre Ertan (former CPO & CTO of rapid delivery decacorn Getir), Seçkin Çağlın (ex-McKinsey, former Head of Cards & CMO of BBVA Garanti Payments), Sırrı Perek (Facebook,) and Buğra Çakmak (Google), Cenoa presents a blockchain-based based, what the company calls “borderless super wallet” that’s aimed at improving access to dollar-based products in emerging markets.
With global inflation hitting highs that for some have never before been seen in their lifetime, billions of individuals are seeing the value of their hard-earned currencies quite literally evaporate overnight. Through no fault of their own, perhaps only in the ability to safeguard the value of these currencies.
With the US Dollar demonstrating a 20 year high, the choice is clear: store the value of local currencies in the Dollar, and capitalise on an inflation-resistant yield.
Well, this remains the fundamental question for many, as the traditional financial systems in many, if not seemingly all, of these emerging market countries either make the purchase of USD either extraordinarily difficult or levy fees that make eyes water.
So what’s a person to do?
This is where Cenoa is stepping in to help with its non-custodial wallet. By offering a blockchain-based solution the company is effectively removing the costs associated with branches, intermediary fees, and numerous procedures associated with traditional banking.
Co-CEO Seçkin Çağlın explains, “Cenoa offers easy access to digital dollar-based products, 100 percent designed for the everyday user. We believe in using modern technologies such as blockchain to provide one-click access to the digital dollar ecosystem to benefit the customers that need that access most – those in emerging economies lacking stable currencies like Argentina and Nigeria. People in these countries should be able to easily and affordably access US Dollars and beat inflation while saving, a function the traditional financial system has failed to provide.”
Now available in 35 markets, Cenoa reports that while its still beta-testing its offer with some 1,000 private users, they’re already fully integrated with Türkiye’s BiLira and London/India’s Transak, thereby connecting to local banking systems.
The goal over the next two years, driven in part by the fresh raise, is to welcome customers worldwide and bring seamless local currency-to-dollar conversion to users.