- Zebec has developed real-time settlement technology for cryptocurrencies and stablecoins.
- The upstart, built on the Solana blockchain, just raised $15 million.
- Zebec will use part of the funds to build a Solana debit card in partnership with Visa.
Some of the biggest names in crypto just backed a seven-month-old startup that wants to transform the way money moves on the blockchain.
Zebec has developed settlement technology on the Solana blockchain that enables real-time movement of money between two parties.
The startup announced on Tuesday that it has raised a $15 million Series A round led by Solana Ventures and Distributed Global with participation from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Circle Ventures and Coinbase, among others. Zebec has raised $21 million to date.
Settlements in traditional financial systems often involve intermediaries and can take days to process. Cryptocurrencies cut out the middleman through the use of smart contracts – self-executing contracts where buyer and seller terms are written in lines of code.
But settlement in crypto still only happens once, Sam Thapaliya, CEO and founder of Zebec, told Insider. And for each transaction, variable fees must be paid to process and validate transactions on certain blockchains.
Zebec’s technology is different in that it’s a continuous flow of money that allows individuals and businesses to send and receive crypto per second, Thapaliya said.
The startup’s first product – Zebec Pay – is a payroll offering that allows Solana-based businesses to pay employees per second in USD Coin or other stablecoins, as opposed to once or twice a month.
It’s similar to what’s called Earned Wage Access, where employees can draw on their wages between paychecks.
Employees can withdraw their balance from their crypto wallet and turn it into real money. Or, they can put that crypto to work by earning a return by investing in decentralized finance, similar to earning interest on money in a savings account.
“The concept is that if you’re able to get your money faster, you can dial faster,” Thapaliya said.
Zebec does not charge a fee, but instead takes a percentage of its users’ yield. In the four weeks since the launch of the beta version of Zebec Pay, the number of end consumers of Zebec is around 10,000, Thapaliya said.
“If you make money, we make money and that’s the value because in the United States there are 65 trillion paychecks processed every year, if we’re able to get a return than 1% of accounts, then we’re on track to be a very successful business,” Thapaliya said.
But Thapaliya has big plans for the underlying settlement technology that powers Zebec Pay.
The startup, which was part of Visa’s Fintech Fast Track program which saw the likes of Stripe, Chime and Crypto.com, will work with the payments giant to launch a debit card on Solana.
Having a Visa debit card that sits on the Solana blockchain alleviates the need for people to transfer money between their crypto wallet and more traditional bank accounts, which can be cumbersome and expensive, Thapaliya said.
The initiative with Visa, which should be launched in the coming months, further integrates Zebec into crypto
and helps the startup get more exposure to the end consumer, which is its ultimate goal.