Juno is a crypto digital bank firm with its headquarters in India. announced on Saturday that it has raised $18 million in a Series A funding round led by ParaFi Capital’s Growth Fund.
Other participants included former Coinbase Chief Technology Officer Balaji Srinivasan and Venu Palparthi from FTX.
Juno stated that it will use the new funding to expand its product range, business operations, and tokenized loyalty program. Juno coin (JCOIN), the firm’s upcoming loyalty token, will be distributed only to verified account holders. The loyalty program is similar to traditional credit cards rewards points. According to the company, Juno members will be able to use the loyalty program to earn JCOIN and take their paychecks in cryptocurrency.
Varun Deshpande, the CEO, and co-founder of Juno talked about the development: “We think these banks are not crypto-friendly. The aim of the loyalty program is to incentivize those already predisposed to using crypto to fundamentally replace their traditional banking stack.”
June was founded in India in 2003 and currently employs 80 people. There are 75 employees in India and five in the U.S. The company plans to increase the number of U.S. employees to 25, and to bring the total staff to 150 within the next twelve months.
Crypto VCs continue to splash funds
Even though Bitcoin is now down nearly 70% from its peak in late 2021 it has not stopped venture capital investments in crypto and startups using blockchain. As of July, $18.3 million has been invested in the landscape by VCs. That almost triples the amount invested in 2020 and is also on pace to surpass 2021’s record mark of $32.4 billion.
Some of the largest crypto fundraising rounds in 2018 were huge. Fireblocks raised $550m in January at an $8 billion valuation. Yuga Labs raised $450m at a valuation of $4 billion in March. Aptos Labs, a blockchain startup, raised $150 million in a round that was led by FTX and many others.
This is despite the ongoing crypto winter, which has seen many crypto companies such as Coinbase, Crypto.com and BlockFi announce massive layoffs of their employees in the past three months. Other companies like Voyager Digital and Celsius Network have also filed for bankruptcy court protection.
VC money is moving into areas like blockchain infrastructure, Web3, NFTs and blockchain-based games that will likely see growth once crypto markets settle down.