Pave Bank launches with $5.2M funding round for programmable money revolution
London, UK and Singapore – 14 December 2023; Banks have vastly evolved over the last 50 years but the underlying global financial system has remained largely the same; obscure and inefficient. The advent of regulated digital assets and programmable money, along with its adoption by central banks around the world offers a root and branch transformation of how value will move around the world. As this takes shape, launching today Pave Bank is the world’s first programmable bank giving businesses access to these new technologies so they can bank more efficiently and access the new economy.
Pave Bank comes out of stealth with an approved digital banking licence from Georgia and a US$5.2M seed funding round led by 468 Capital with participation from Quona Capital, FT Partners, BR Capital, w3.fund, Daedalus and angel investors.
Pave Bank is the world’s first fully regulated commercial bank where clients can not only get the best in class business banking products (such as multi-currency operating accounts, global payment connectivity, and treasury management solutions) but will also have access to multi-asset custody, virtual IBANs, safeguarding accounts and PaveNet, which is a multi-asset, always instant and always on network of Pave Bank customers.
Pave Bank promises an ironclad level of trust and confidence in all their products. In honouring this commitment they are a full reserve bank, which means that all deposits and funds held with the bank are always there, never lent out and never invested.
Salim Dhanani, Co-Founder & CEO of Pave Bank commented: “We have set out to address limitations of today’s financial system that lacks transparency, remains restricted to certain time-windows (clearing and settlement, for example) and is riddled with intermediaries. All of this increases costs, management complexity and also limits the products and services which can be accessed by the majority of businesses and especially, for those operating globally. In parallel, we have seen a number of innovative products that have been created in the digital asset space, but sometimes with a lack of regulation and safety for users. We are championing a new path where Pave Bank customers will get access to the financial products that they are used to, but also a range of digital asset enabled products which will help them bank more efficiently within a regulated and secure environment.”
As programmability in financial services takes off, Pave Bank offers a fresh, secure and regulated platform for businesses to transact in stablecoins, Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs), and tokenized Real World Assets (RWAs). The Pave Bank team likens this level of disruption in financial services to the way the smartphone disrupted the phone market. Salim Dhanani added: “Programmable money and real-world asset tokenization are creating a seismic shift in how the financial system will operate and what a future financial institution will look like. There are two major trends that led us to create Pave Bank. Firstly, blockchain is being integrated into the traditional financial system – with stablecoins, CBDCs included, and tokenized RWAs. We are seeing the financial system be built on new operating languages for the first time in over fifty years. Secondly, regulation is here, it’s here to stay, and for the better. We are seeing this narrative evolve around the world – in Singapore, Hong Kong, Georgia, UAE, UK, across the EU and the green shoots in the USA, amongst many others. As a fully regulated digital bank with a proprietary technology stack, we are right at the swell of the programmable financial system wave.”
The integration of blockchain technology to the regulated financial markets mirrors what the internet was to information and it will transform the financial system. Blockchain projects like Onyx by JP Morgan and the new Global Layer One by the Monetary Authority of Singapore are beginning to drive meaningful change. Salim Dhanani added: “Programmable banking represents the next stage in financial evolution. In the end, businesses care more about the value that is being brought to them with these technologies and less about the technologies themselves. With more businesses thinking and operating globally, the solutions that can be built with programmable money promise to transform banking, treasury, credit products, along with opening up a host of new products and services.”
Pave Bank has started the regulatory journey with a digital commercial banking licence in Georgia and plans to continue to build its regulatory infrastructure globally. Georgia is strategically positioned between Europe, the Middle East and Asia, with close ties to the European Union. Its robust and transparent regulatory architecture has attracted a large number of businesses as it seeks to become a financial services hub in the region.
Pave Bank was founded by established banking executives turned fintech operators Salim Dhanani (CEO), Simon Vans-Colina (CTO) and Dmitry Bocharov (COO). Salim was at the World Bank before moving to Carta Worldwide (acquired by Nasdaq listed MOGO) and then co-founded fintech lender and payments business BigPay in Southeast Asia. Simon was at Citibank and Vocalink before moving to set up Starling Bank. He left with Tom Blomfield and Paul Rippon to build Monzo as a member of the founding team. Dmitry was a member of the management team at Ferratum, a DAX-listed bank operating across Europe. Nine years ago, he moved to Vietnam and assumed the role of Chief Digital Officer at VP Bank, where he successfully led a digital transformation, elevating the bank from being ranked among the bottom five to becoming one of the top commercial banks in the country.
Guilherme Steinbruch, Partner at 468 Capital commented: “Pave Bank is offering the world a glimpse into what we believe to be the future of banking and financial services. Large banks are riddled with legacy technology stacks and don’t have a unified approach between traditional finance and regulated digital assets. Ultimately, we are witnessing a major shift in banking and Pave Bank stands out by enabling a whole range of products and services that can be brought to businesses globally.”
Steve McLaughlin, Founder & CEO at Financial Technology Partners commented: “Having observed innovative companies in the financial services industry for over two decades, Pave Bank is a prime example of a transformative company. Our ongoing partnership with visionary repeat founders like Salim is a testament to our dedication in guiding and supporting their strategic journey. In terms of leadership, product vision and commitment to customer value, we see Pave Bank as leaders in the space. We take pride in having supported their journey so far and eagerly anticipate the continuation of our partnership through their upcoming fundraising endeavors.”
The Pave Bank team believes that as the traditional financial world transforms with digital assets and the decentralised space transforms with regulation, regulated financial institutions will need to adapt to continue offering the most competitive products and services to their clients. This shift is not a user experience shift, it is a change of the very nature of money and value, for which Pave Bank is built.
FT Partners was the exclusive financial and strategic advisor to Pave Bank on this transaction.