Toronto-headquartered Stablecorp has closed a $1.9 million CAD ($1.5 million USD) in what the firm describes as a pre-Series A investment round.
Investors in the financing include new investors Circle Ventures, crypto brokerage Genesis, and the Stellar Development Foundation, the non-profit behind the Stellar network. Side Door Ventures also joined existing partners 3iQ, Borderless, and others who participated in the round. Stablecorp did not disclose the rest of its investors.
3iQ and Mavennet noticed a gap in the financial infrastructure that was required to deliver the optimal versions of their solutions.
When asked about the decision to classify the funding as pre-Series A, Alex McDougall, president and COO at Stablecorp, told BetaKit in a statement that this was a strategic funding round that will go towards “adding use-cases and highly targeted functionality” prior to the launch of the VCAD direct deposit receipt (DDR).
VCAD is a multi-chain DDR that will be issued through digital banking leader VersaBank and backed one-to-one by Canadian dollar deposits. By creating VCAD, Stablecorp hopes to bridge the transition to blockchain financial services. The startup claims that VCAD would do this by facilitating secure and transparent payments, transfers, and settlements in CAD-equivalent tokens — “introducing a new standard for volatility protection.”
McDougall added that the company intends to pursue a full Series A funding round later in the year.
Launched in 2020 as a joint venture between Canadian crypto asset manager 3iQ and venture studio Mavennet, Stablecorp is a FinTech startup that is developing what it calls bank-grade blockchain technology.
3iQ claims to have created the first Bitcoin product to be listed on a major exchange (the Toronto Stock Exchange), and Mavennet has been building tangible blockchain products for major enterprises as well as government entities, such as the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Despite these advancements in the finance space, both 3iQ and Mavennet noticed a gap in the financial infrastructure that was required to deliver the optimal versions of their solutions. Wherever “off-chain” fiat is required to interact with an “on-chain” blockchain-based system, there are limitations in what the blockchain-based system can accomplish.
Stablecorp was created to fill this gap by extending the edge of blockchain-based systems and ensuring a seamless integration with the services traditionally provided by the traditional financial system.
QCAD was Stablecorp’s first product release and was the first major Canadian-dollar stablecoin designed for the mass market, according to the company. A stablecoin is a type of cryptocurrency that gets its value pegged to another asset class, such as a fiat currency or gold, to stabilize its price.
Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin offer the ability to send payments without the intervention of an intermediary institution. One drawback, however, is that the price of cryptocurrencies is unpredictable and has a tendency to fluctuate. To solve this problem, Stablecorp created QCAD, which the company claims have the stability of the Canadian dollar.
In February 2021, Stablecorp entered into a strategic partnership with VersaBank, an A-rated Canadian Schedule I bank, to develop VCAD.
VCAD is a digital deposit receipt issued by VersaBank and can be used by financial intermediary partners in exchange for Canadian dollar deposits with the bank using ‘smart contracts,’ a more highly encrypted iteration of VersaBank’s existing digital deposit contracts. What VersaBank is working on with Stablecorp is offering VCAD directly to individuals and businesses who can use them for commerce and redeem them for Canadian dollars at any time.
Stablecorp secured its recent funding as it plans to create more transparent transactions and secure payments in the blockchain space.
The FinTech startup has also expressed plans to expand globally. Stablecorp said its funding round will also allow it to pursue its near-term growth strategies in decentralized finance, yield generation, foreign exchange, payments, settlement, remittances, and digital asset trading.