DeFi

Emerging markets DeFi specialist Pillow raises $18m

Democratised access to digital assets is key to getting emerging market investors on a level playing field, giving them the opportunity to take control of their finances and battle the dual challenges of inflation and the rising costs of living. Helping them on this journey, crypto investments platform Pillow is creating simple, transparent, accessible products including crypto investing, crypto savings, crypto payments and other financial services.

Underscoring the importance of its mission, Singapore-based has Pillow announced it has raised $18 million in Series A funding co-led by Accel, Quona Capital, Elevation Capital and Jump Capital. Elevation Capital were also the first seed investors in Pillow, having led the round in 2021.

Pillow aims to make it as simple as possible for users to start earning the best returns on their crypto. Today, to invest in DeFi and start earning returns, users have to jump through multiple hoops: right from setting up a Metamask wallet to transferring their crypto on-chain to understanding gas fees, bridging and many other aspects.

While there is so much value being created in DeFi, the process needs to be much simpler for the users. That’s where Pillow steps in. Users just have to transfer their crypto to their Pillow account and they start earning returns immediately. Pillow does all the heavy lifting at the backend while ensuring a seamless investment journey on the front-end.

Founded in 2021 by Arindam Roy, Rajath KM, and Kartik Mishra, the Pillow platform is a community of more than 75,000 users in over 60 countries who are taking control of their financial lives by saving and investing using digital assets. Within the Pillow app, users can invest and save in US Dollar-backed stablecoins, as well as multiple blue-chip cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum and others.

The company is just getting started; Pillow has plans to do even more to elevate the personal finance journeys of people in emerging markets such as Africa and Southeast Asia.

Arindam Roy, CEO of Pillow, said, “At Pillow, we aspire to create and reward a culture of disciplined personal finance, including savings and investments powered by access to digital assets, that enable young, hardworking, ambitious people to take control of their finances, achieve life goals and work towards financial freedom. We’re creating a suite of high-quality, secure, and transparent financial products that will grant our users access to global economic opportunities and let them take control of their financial future.”

User base has grown by 300%

Since the beginning of 2022, the company has grown its user base by 300%, with assets under management having grown 5x. In addition, the company has expanded into Nigeria, Ghana, and Vietnam, among other emerging markets.

“Borderless, permissionless money has the power to change lives, particularly in emerging markets, and it can bring more people into financial systems,” said Ganesh Rengaswamy, co-founder and managing partner at Quona. “What Pillow is building can remove the friction of formal financial systems for the underserved, while engaging users in savings and investing behaviours.”

Digital assets and decentralised finance are opening up access to global economies across the world by operating on borderless systems without relying on centralised entities. The challenge is in making it simple and user-friendly enough for mass adoption. Pillow’s mission is to create a safe, accessible, borderless crypto investment platform and make digital assets accessible to everyone globally.

Vaas Bhaskar, Principal at Elevation Capital explained further: “The lack of intuitive, user-friendly platforms is a big impediment to large-scale adoption of digital assets as an investment class, and Pillow is doing a phenomenal job in bridging this gap. The growth they’ve been able to achieve since inception is testament to the quality and seamlessness of the solution.”

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