Emtech, an African provider of central banking infrastructure, introduced its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Innovation kit last month. The kit caters to fintechs and financial service providers interested in experimenting with solutions and business models based on digital currencies pioneered by central banks.
The New York-based business is today announcing a $4 million seed investment led by Matrix Partners India. It plans to further the development of this CBDC stack and that of its regtech solution. BTN.vc, VestedWorld, Equity Alliance, LoftyInc Capital, Level Up Ventures and Collide Capital are some of the other investors in the round. They join Emtech’s previous investors, including Noemis Ventures, Octerra Capital and 500 Global on its cap table. This round brings the four-year-old’s total investment to $10 million (including a $4 million pre-seed last year and a recent $2 million extension).
The CBDC Innovation Kit’s unveiling in July comes as no surprise. Last March, founder Carmelle Cadet said Emtech would deploy its first version of a CBDC platform this year. Emtech’s digital regulatory platform previously included the innovator’s center, which assists fintechs in preparing and testing requirements for numerous regulators and pre-market technological integration. The regulatory sandbox enables regulatory bodies to respond to innovations based on live testing results.
The four-year-old startup had hoped to work with at least 10 central banks by now. However, it is currently working with six. It has presently developed regtech and CBDC stack solutions for the Central Banks of Ghana, Nigeria and the Bahamas. That’s in addition to collaborating with fintechs in other countries to provide crucial regulatory and innovation insights.
“We’re the only company globally working with that many central banks at a time,” CEO Cardet told TechCrunch in a recent interview, stressing that Emtech had to open up its seed round, which took a year to complete, to follow through on the partnerships with these banks. “Like other companies, fundraising wasn’t easy because of the downturn and the FTX and Terra Luna saga. We had to manage our cash flow and resources and grow our footprint across the region while delivering for the central banks, especially now that we’re on a journey of digitizing cash infrastructure for them.”