Triple-A gets funding from Peak XV to help more businesses use crypto

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Created by the founder of Thunes, global digital currency payments institution Triple-A wants to close the gap between traditional finance and blockchain-based payments with its white-label solutions for businesses. It enables clients to pay in or accept crypto and get fiat money in their bank accounts the next day.

Triple-A announced today it has raised a $10 million Series A from returning investors Peak XV (former Sequoia India and Southeast Asia) with strategic backing from MENA-focused venture firm Shorooq Partners, alongside undisclosed repeat backers. This round comes about a year after Triple-A’s $4 million seed round, bringing its total raised so far to $14 million.

The company’s new funding will be used to expand in the Middle East, North America and South America. It also plans to add new cryptocurrency solutions to its crypto payments and payout products. Headquartered in Singapore, Triple-A currently has more than 70 employees and offices in Miami, Hong Kong, Paris and Barcelona.

Triple-A was founded by Eric Barbier, a serial fintech founder whose previous startup was cross-border payments platform Thunes, now valued at more than $900 million.

Before Thunes, Barbier sold his first company, mobile messaging provider Mobile 365, to Sybase in 2006. Then he moved to Singapore with an eye on new opportunities.

While traveling to the Philippines, the idea for Thunes struck Barbier as he watched people exchange prepaid mobile credit. He wanted to make cross-border transactions easier, Barbier tells TechCrunch. Thunes launched its first international mobile payment in 2008 between Malaysia and Indonesia before expanding worldwide.

The idea for Triple-A came while Barbier worked at Thunes with clients facing chargeback fraud issues, leading him to see the potential of cryptocurrencies as a payment solution for businesses selling goods and services across borders.

“I wanted to provide businesses with an additional, more efficient payment method,” he says. “Cryptocurrency payments not only shield businesses from chargeback fraud risks, but also help to streamline B2B cross-border payments. With instant settlements and no middlemen required, I realized we could solve many pressing issues in the payments industry today.”

Triple-A currently supports cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Lightning, Ether, Tether and USD Coin. Barbier also says stablecoins “are a major game-changer in payments” by enabling real-time settlements, in contrast to traditional payment methods like SWIFT transfers, which take several days to clear.

“Many businesses cannot afford to wait two to three days for a SWIFT transfer to clear, and that need for speed and efficiency prompted me to build Triple-A,” Barbier says. “With stablecoins, individuals and businesses worldwide, even in emerging countries, can now easily own and use a USD-denominated currency.”

Triple-A holds licenses that allow it to operate around the world. These include one from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) as a payments institution and a payments institution license from the central bank of France that allows it to execute payment transactions across all EU member states. Triple-A is also registered with the United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), and plans to expand its regulatory framework around the world.

Triple-A is currently used by more than 20,000 businesses, including merchants like iStudio, Farfetch, Charles and Keith, Singapore Red Cross, Razer and Reap, along with large enterprises. Once a client provides all required documents, Triple-A completes the KYC (know your customer) process and onboarding within one to two business days. Its integration methods include API and no-code integration.

The startup’s target customers are enterprises that prioritize compliance, regulation and licensing, Barbier says, and need to pay in or accept crypto payments, but want to avoid the risks and complexities of handling crypto transactions on their own.

“Businesses are seeking to accept cryptocurrency payments to cater to growing demand from consumers who prefer paying in digital currencies,” he says. “They are also looking for the option of making cross-border payments to vendors, contractors and suppliers that specifically seek compensation in cryptocurrency.”

Some examples of how Triple-A’s enterprise clients use its white-label solutions include e-commerce payments and cryptocurrency payments within the creator economy (remote work platform Multiplier works with the startup to compensate content creators, influencers and freelancers around the world). In terms of B2B use cases, Triple-A is used by businesses to pay vendors, contractors and suppliers in different countries with digital currencies. Triple-A’s white-label solution also lets payment service providers offer cryptocurrency payments to merchants.

Other companies that enable businesses to send and receive cryptocurrency payments include B2BinPay and CryptoProcessing by CoinsPaid. Barbier says Triple-A differentiates from competitors with its focus on regulation and licensing. “Compliance is a cornerstone for us, and we aim to be the most regulated payments institution for digital currencies worldwide. This is instrumental in onboarding businesses that prioritize compliance and wouldn’t have otherwise enabled crypto payments.”

Triple-A also competes with incumbents like cash and traditional bank transfers, but Barbier says “our solution tackles the inefficiencies of these payment methods.”

In a statement about the investment, Peak XV vice president Aakash Kapoor said, “Blockchain-based digital infrastructure provides real value in cross-border payments in terms of speed and liquidity of flows. These infrastructure rails including stablecoins and centrally backed digital currencies (CBDCs) have the potential to transform how global businesses transact money more efficiently. Licensed by major regulators in Singapore and Europe, Triple-A is building a compliant and steady foundation to enable this future.”

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