FinTech AeroPay scores $5m in funding to support payments in cannabis industry

Digital payments platform AeroPay closed a $5m+ funding round led by Chicago Ventures.

The venture round also included participation from Continental Investors, who previously led AeroPay’s seed round, former Google executives, cannabis industry veterans and enterprise retail professionals.

Led by CEO and founder Daniel Muller, the company intends to use the funds to recruit new talent and build out additional features of the product. In addition, the funding will support its continued growth in the cannabis industry.

While AeroPay’s API-driven platform currently processes payments for a host of verticals including eCommerce businesses, non-profits, restaurants, retail and technology, it particularly saw significant success with cannabis businesses.

Stressing on the importance of digitising the sector, the firm also said that despite legalisation, national banks and payment systems remain wary of cannabis’ complicated status and associated legal risks. Given how the State of Illinois surpassed $1bn in legal cannabis sales only in 2020, the firm aims to offer seamless digital payment options to the historically cash-reliant sector.

Currently, AeroPay already has entered into partnerships with tech firms in the sector such as Blackbird, a cannabis software and delivery company, and Olla, an eCommerce platform built for cannabis retailers, to accelerate their growth in the space.

The AeroPay platform is supported by Safe Harbor Private Banking – a division of Partner Colorado Credit Union, a banking provider for cannabis businesses. The partnership leverages AeroPay’s technology to facilitate payments with Safe Harbor Private Banking easing the compliance process and banking services.

Commenting on the firm’s future plans, Muller said, “We’re excited to continue bringing better payment options to underserved markets that have been left behind by traditional providers.

“There is no better place to build a FinTech company than Chicago as it bridges financial services, an industry of historical significance to the city, and technology, a sector of growing prominence in the city’s startup community.”

Muller added, “We’re especially motivated being situated in Illinois as it is becoming one of the most successful legal cannabis markets in the US We’re just scratching the surface and we can’t wait for what comes next.”

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