Hashstacs PTE LTD (STACS), a Singapore-based fintech, announced on April 20th it had raised US $3.6 million in a pre-Series A funding round as reported by Tech Crunch. The company, which also deals with environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments, develops blockchain platforms that work with the financial institutions already existing platform. Wavemaker Partners, a company that focuses on enterprise and deep tech business in the Southeast Asian region, lead the funding round with the involvement of another company named Tribe Accelerator, which is backed by the Singaporean government to program for blockchain startups.
This wasn’t the first interaction between STACS and Tribe Accelerator, last year they participated together along with Project Ubin, the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s blockchain-based multi-currency payments network initiative.
STACS was formed in 2019 and now has raised more than US $6 million as well as planning for a Series A fundraise later this year. Their main goal is to help mend the fragmentation in tech systems used by Singapore’s financial institutions that can lead to capital being locked in international clearing systems. The core solution developed by STACS allows its clients to integrate payment platforms (including Ubin), trading platforms and external software like user management systems, while enabling smart contracts and digital ledgers. Some of the Singapore startups customers include Deutsche Bank, Bursa Malaysia, EFG Bank and Bluecell Intelligence. Co-founder and managing director Benjamin Soh said that STACS is targeting a network of more than 30 institutions by the end of this year.
This funding also comes on the heels of a product launched last month called GreenSTACS, which was built in collaboration with Bluecell Intelligence, to help financial institutions monitor green and sustainability-related loans and bonds. Soh has said that the company has received numerous requests from institutions that need assistance monitoring their ESG projects, but were not able to do so effectively because, as he put it, “information sources are asymmetric, there is no common data infrastructure and serving of ESG financing is typically too inefficient.” The goal of GreenSTACS is to create a common infrastructure for ESG impact monitoring and financing. The platform allows for loan and bond parameters to be arranged into security tokens and connect them with data sources, like the Internet of Things devices or satellite images, so you can see the real-time impact reports on distributed ledgers. This will help prevent what the industry describes as “greenwashing,” a term that refers to making something seem more sustainable or environmentally friendly than it truly is. “Essentially, this would boost investors and banks confidence with green financing by ensuring green money is strictly used in achieving pledged green goals and policies,” said Soh.
Gavin Lee, Wavemaker’s general partner, said in a press statement “There is an immense opportunity to help financial institutions process large volumes of trade more quickly, securely and accurately while reducing costs and illiquid capital. As an enterprise distributed ledger technology provider, STACS has productized a secure layer that can be deployed instantly above existing infrastructure. Enterprise sales is never easy for young companies, but Benjamin is a convincing and seasoned serial entrepreneur who has secured numerous leading financial institutions as key clients.”
Shu, Catherine. “Singapore-Based Fintech STACS Raises $3.6M to Develop Blockchain Platforms for Financial Institutions.” Tech Crunch, 19 Apr. 2021, techcrunch.com/2021/04/19/singapore-based-fintech-stacs-raises-3-6m-to-develop-blockchain-platforms-for-financial-institutions.