London-based cryptocurrency payments firm Merge has raised a $9.5 million seed round led by Octopus Ventures, as well as Coinbase Ventures, Alameda Research and Hashed.

Other investors include founders of Aave, Polygon, the CEO of Ledger and the former CEO of Barclays Consumer Banking.

Merge plans to deploy the capital to ensure that cryptocurrency companies can make payments and work with traditional financial services in a more efficient way.

“As the crypto economy moves further into the mainstream, it’s increasingly clear that the current financial infrastructure isn’t fit to serve the rapid expansion of crypto-native businesses and many providers aren’t specialized enough to gauge risk,” Zihao Xu, investor at Octopus Ventures, said.

Merge will not only focus on holding and transferring fiat funds for crypto and Web 3 companies, but will also manage compliance through its API.

The firm shared with CoinDesk that it has several clients lined up, with an announcement expected this quarter.

Despite a recent market downturn, venture capitalists are continuing to invest in the cryptocurrency industry, with Andreessen Horowitz raising $4.5 billion for a new crypto fund on Wednesday.

“We see it as a temporary blip,” Merge co-founder Kebbie Sebastian told CoinDesk on the current market. “The fundamental potential of cryptocurrency remains the same despite market volatility.”


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