Banking startup Kernolab inks $1m in pre-seed funding

Lithuanian FinTech Kernolab has raised $1m in a pre-seed funding round headed by venture capital firm Lighthouse Ventures.

The round also saw participation from StartUp Wise Guys, another venture capital company that had previously invested in Kernolab earlier this year.

Founded in 2019, Kernolab claims it aims to provide agile and highly flexible banking-as-a-service that aims to act as a bridge between FinTech and non-finance business and make it easy for these businesses to create and market financial services.

According to Kernolab, the newly raised funds will be used to boost business development and scale its team with an emphasis on high-caliber hires, which it claims will help support faster new market expansion, growth in B2B sales and partnerships.

Kernolab co-founder and CEO Vachtangas Babunasvili said, “Financial services can blend into any business that has a potential to optimise its operations or generate additional revenues. A logistics company with drivers all over Europe would benefit from simplifying salary payouts by offering its own bank accounts.

“Starbucks’ card, for instance, has allowed it to classify customers’ pre-loaded cash as ‘stored value card liabilities’, effectively giving itself a 0% interest rate on a $1.6bn loan. The possibilities are endless and our technology enables any company to benefit.”

Lighthouse Ventures managing partner Michal Zalesak added, “Embedded finance is the next step in fintech and something that can touch almost any business on the planet. The challenge is finding a solution that can seamlessly enable the transition into that next phase of fintech, and with Kernolab we have found that solution as well as the right team to lead it to widespread adoption.

‘If every business will be a fintech in the future, then chances are that they will be working with Kernolab. It took us only six weeks to move forward with this investment.”

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