Kitchener-Waterloo-based Web3 startup Code has closed $6.5 million in seed funding to scale its new global micropayments platform.
The seed round was co-led by M13 and Union Square Ventures, with additional participation from investors Balaji Srinivasan, Roham Gharegozlou, Anatoly Yakovenko, Raj Gokal, and Mert Mumtaz.
Code was founded by Ted Livingston, the founder and former CEO of Canadian unicorn Kik.
Code is pitching itself as a global payments platform that allows creators to earn money on anything they put online. According to the startup, the service allows creators to charge as little as five cents for their work, such as written articles, home workouts, or artificial intelligence-generated images. Code’s platform uses self-custodial blockchain technology for payments, and is built on Solana Web3 infrastructure.
Code was founded by Ted Livingston, the founder and former CEO of Canadian unicorn Kik, which was once among the world’s most popular chat apps. BetaKit was first to report that Kik would be shutting down its app in 2019, however this decision was reversed, and the company was acquired by Medialab Technology later that year.
Livingston has been passionate about crypto since his days leading Kik. In 2017, Kik launched its own cryptocurrency, called Kin, and sought to raise $157 million CAD through an initial coin offering (ICO). The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) later filed a charge against Kik, claiming the ICO violated US securities laws, a suit that culminated in a $5-million settlement in 2020.
In its funding announcement, the startup said an early version of Code was launched in 2023 out of a not-for-profit funded by proceeds from the 2019 sale of Kik. The startup said this early version received positive feedback for its user experience, technical infrastructure, and developer tools.
According to a recent blog post written by M13 general partner Latif Peracha, the not-for-profit organization open-sourced all of its work in November, following which Code’s team formed a new company while still contributing to the open-source codebase.
“We believe that Code has the opportunity to build a payments network that reaps the benefits of crypto—global by default, low fees, self custody, modular developer experience–while maintaining the benefits of traditional payment channels, such as privacy between parties and ease of use,” Peracha said in his post. “We also think it has the team to execute.”
Code’s payments app is currently live, and the startup offers a developer platform that allows users to integrate Code into their website or web app. The company also plans to launch a new blogging tool that will enable users to get paid for their writing.