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C14 launches fiat-to-crypto onramp with $2.5M in funding

Illustration of a crypto block with an image of a one hundred dollar bill on one side.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

C14, a New York-based web3 payments firm, is coming to market having raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by General Catalyst.

Why it matters: With Wyre winding down, there's an opportunity for alternative crypto on-ramps — particularly in emerging markets.

How it works: C14 built a platform for embedding purchases of digital assets onto websites and decentralized applications (dApps), focusing on international and localized payment options in emerging markets.

  • As a result, the firm hopes to go beyond just debit and credit card processing in places like the U.S., Canada, and the European Union.
  • It currently supports PIX transactions in Brazil and plans to roll out localized payment options in other regions throughout 2023.

Between the lines: Founder and CEO Erich Grant was at Wyre from April 2021 to February 2022. While at Wyre, Grant saw some of the problems crypto ramp companies encounter.

  • "It's still very hard for most people in most places to get access to most assets," Grant tells Axios.
  • "Most people in the world don't have credit cards or debit cards. So if you say you can on-ramp a user from Mexico or South Africa through card networks, that's technically true but very few people can actually use it," he added.

The latest: On the partner side, C14 launched with EVMOS and has since added support for Ethereum and Aurora, among other assets.

  • It is also working to get embedded through crypto ecosystems like Hedera, Aleph Zero and LGCY Network.

Of note: So far, C14 has registered with FinCEN in the U.S., FinTRAC in Canada and has obtained a virtual asset service provider designation in Lithuania.

  • Other investors in the round include Fin Capital, Cipholio and Istari Ventures, among others.
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