A neo-bank is being launched to bring in more users by the pioneers of the lending protocol Nuo. Nuo protocol was founded in 2018 by Ratnesh Ray, Varun Deshpande, and Siddharth Verma. They are now instigating Juno, a digital banking platform.
The project has raised around $3 million to set up a platform to leverage Ethereum protocols and cryptocurrencies and to also provide services like debit cards and high-yield savings. The main objective of this startup is to be a savings account that is leveraging the Nuo protocol.
It aims at offering an annual interest rate of 5.5% on the USDC deposits. Varun Deshpande said that Juno is a component of Nuo’s strategy to simplify user experience and bring in more users. He said the aim of the plan is also to lock liquidity in the ecosystem of Nuo so that they can manage all the operations fully and be in total control.
The co-founder also told CoinDesk that Juno would be based on the Ethereum platform, and it will primarily rely on the Nuo protocol. He added that the program is expected to be instigated in March or February of 2020. The Neo-bank plans on pitching camp in Europe, the US, Japan, and Singapore. It will partner with money transmitters on the online platform in all these areas for on-ramp capabilities.
Deshpande added that partnering with local banks may result in free cross-border payments and debit cards. The $3 million venture capital was raised in a round that was pioneered by Sequoia Capital’s Surge program and Polychain Capital. The round was inclusive of participation from Astarc Ventures, ConsenSys Labs, Dragonfly Capital, and Singapore Angel Network.
There were other angel investors also in the round, such as Balaji Srinivasan, the former technology officer of Coinbase, and also an Andreessen Horowitz, former general partner. Nuo is currently at $25 million in terms of deposits, and the loans disbursed the amount to $20 million. A co-founder for the neo-bank added that its deposits would be insured using a price volatility insurance fund.