⦿ INSIGHTS

Why We Invested in Januar: Financial infrastructure for crypto companies

For too long crypto native companies have been lacking a stable and secure banking foundation to run their businesses from without the fear of being shut down by their, presumed, banking partner. Enter Januar.
Why We Invested in Januar: Financial infrastructure for crypto companies
WRITTEN BY
Martin Krag Andersen
Investor
WRITTEN BY

For too long crypto native companies have been lacking a stable and secure banking foundation to run their businesses from without the fear of being shut down by their, presumed, banking partner.

Without the expertise and proper infrastructure to serve this new class of customers, legacy banks have not been able to adapt to the innovation taking place in the crypto space, leaving a massively booming industry in the dark when it comes to (at least historically) the most fundamental asset for a business operation: a bank account.

Despite recent strides in the crypto space, NFT aping, DeFi, and Web3 innovations to name a couple, stable and accountable crypto on- and off-ramps are surprisingly few and far between

Enter Januar: fiat-to-crypto rails as a service supported by a historic payment institute license from the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority. With that in their hands, Januar is aiming to be the banking infrastructure partner for crypto businesses and bridge the gap between the traditional financial system and the new.

“Traditional banks are not ready for what is happening in the crypto markets right now. While the value and usage of assets, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, have multiplied many times over, the dismissive approach of most banks have left them with little insights into crypto-specific compliance measurements and an inability to properly serve and support the industry. With Januar, we are here to close that gap now by providing banking services to crypto businesses and crypto services to banks.” - Simon Ousager, CEO & co-founder.

The secret sauce: impeccable founder-market-fit and a regulatory inflection point

When considering investing in a startup we always ask “Why you?” and “Why now?”. In Januar’s case it was almost so evident we didn’t really have to.

The Januar team brings a perfect mix of crypto veterans, fintech professionals and compliance specialists.

Simon Ousager, the CEO, was one of the first hires at Chainalysis and is one of the top experts on crypto currency technology, forensics and compliance, having trained European regulators, a majority of the largest exchanges, and international banks and law enforcement entities on the topic of crypto.

Additionally, Mikael, Andreas, and Marcus bring best-in-class skills in product, operations, brand, and risk management, making the team truly outstanding and answering the question of “Why you?” loud and clear.

For anyone following the crypto space, the answer to “Why now?” is just as obvious given the amount of innovation happening in the space and the attention it is getting. Yet, as laid out above, for truly mainstream institutional adoption from traditional finance we still need better infrastructure that can manage risk and compliance.

Januar has already made tremendous strides utilizing regulatory innovation to further their mission. It is a testament to the team that they are the very first crypto-focused company to receive a payment institute license from the Danish regulators, recognizing them as among the best in the world at quantifying and managing risk in the crypto space.

We are beyond excited to be leading this investment and backing this team building the financial system of tomorrow.


Building something in crypto or fintech? Reach out here.


Looking to join the Januar team? Get in touch.

More about the author(s)
Martin Krag Andersen
Investor

Martin leads investments across Europe and works with portfolio companies in a board capacity. Particularly, he's focussing on crypto/web3 and climate tech as well as verticalized SaaS and fintech. He is a former entrepreneur, having founded and worked with several startups in Denmark, Seoul, and Beijing.Prior to working in tech, he spent a number of years as a professional online poker player, honing a skill set in game theory, math, and psychology - traits he now applies to venture investing.Martin holds a Master's in Political Science from Aarhus University and Sogang University, Seoul. Outside of work, he spends his time mountain biking and cold water surfing, or playing with his son

More about the author(s)
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