Pillow wants to make crypto saving and investing easy for new users • TechCrunch
Pillow aspires to be an all-in-one platform that helps even new users save, spend and invest in cryptocurrencies. The Singapore-based startup announced it has raised $18 million in Series A funding co-led by Accel and Quona Capital, with participation from Elevation Capital and Jump Capital.
The app currently has more than 75,000 users in more than 60 countries. It supports 10 digital assets, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, Polygon, Axie Infinity, and USD-backed stablecoins USDC and USDT, and has plans to expand to more than 50 assets. in the coming months.
Founded in 2021 by Arindam Roy, Rajath KM and Kartik Mishra, Pillow focuses on emerging markets such as Africa and Southeast Asia. The founders say that since the start of the year, it has grown its user base by 300%, with assets under management growing fivefold. It has also recently expanded to Nigeria, Ghana and Vietnam, among other markets.
Prior to founding Pillow, Roy and KM explored web3 while working at identity verification and AML software provider HyperVerge, while holding jobs in the traditional financial industry. During this time, the two started a Discord server on the side for people to participate in web3, which eventually grew to over 15,000 people.
Two people told TechCrunch: “We see some of the issues that are reoccurring. “People don’t know how to pay gas fees, don’t know how to bridge different blockchains, people don’t know what transactions they are approving and end up losing money.”
Around this time, the two met with Mishra, head of business at Indian delivery startup Dunzo, and began talking about how to tackle the problem of large-scale entry.
“Ultimately, we recognize that the challenge is that today’s crypto transactions don’t fit the mental model of how retail users perceive transactions. You will need a solid technical background to trade seamlessly in crypto,” they said.
Therefore, Pillow was born to make the use of cryptocurrency easy to understand.
To do this, the Pillow team had to solve some big problems. The first is awareness, as the majority of people still think of crypto as just buying and selling Bitcoin without understanding the other use cases. The second is complexity, as using all crypto means having to understand gas fees, blockchain technology, and bridging. “Someone who just wants to trade will not extend this learning curve,” they said.
Pillow solves these problems by simplifying one-click crypto investments and trading, instant swaps, and one-click savings using daily interest savings. mouse. It plans to do the same for other crypto services like payments.
To use Pillow for the first time, people sign up with their email account, then provide KYC information, such as a live selfie and national ID. They then receive a brief lesson on the potential risks of investing in digital assets before choosing the type of asset they want to deposit or invest in. Before making their initial investment, they will learn another lesson about the potential risks of that asset.
They can then send crypto from their own wallet or another crypto platform by going to the crypto wallet address displayed on Pillow. In some countries where Pillow has partnered with compliant on-premises service providers, users can also purchase cryptocurrencies with their local fiat currency. Pillow supports fiat deposits and withdrawals through local partnerships in Nigeria, the Philippines and Vietnam, with plans to add more across Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America with new funding from Pillow. me.
The startup’s largest user base is in Nigeria, and it is also present mainly in India, Ghana and Vietnam, and a growing user base in Brazil, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. It focuses on retail investors, allowing them to start with investments as small as $5.
Since Pillow’s users come from different geographical regions, Pillow’s closest competitors are also from all over the world. These include cryptocurrency exchanges Luno in Africa, exchange many assets Pluang (another Accel investment) in Southeast Asia and global crypto savings app Nexo. Pillow’s founders say they’re different with their goal of being a comprehensive home for digital asset-based financial services that enable even first-time crypto users Earn, save, spend and invest from the same platform.
Pillow is currently in a growth phase and plans to introduce transaction fees as new products, including swaps and tokenized real-world assets, are introduced. It currently makes profit on profit generated from 5% to 10.42% of profit that is accessible to users. Pillow keeps a small percentage of the spread generated and another part also counts towards its yield reserve.