Singapore-based fintech Hashstacs Pte Ltd (STACS) announced today it has raised $3.6 million USD in pre-Series A funding. The company develops blockchain platforms that can work with financial institutions’ existing infrastructure, and its core technology is also used in GreenSTACS for environmental, social and governance (ESG) investments. The round was led by Wavemaker Partners, which focuses on enterprise and deep tech companies in Southeast Asia, with participation from the Tribe Accelerator, a program for blockchain startups backed by the Singaporean government. STACS participated in Tribe last year, along with Project Ubin, the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s blockchain-based multi-currency payments network initiative.
Founded in 2019, STACS has now raised a total of more than $6 million and is preparing to raise Series A funding later this year. The company’s goal is to fix fragmentation in the tech systems used by financial institutions that can result in capital being locked in international clearing systems, a build-up of transaction fees and fines for trades that fail to settle. Its core solution is a technology stack that is built around STACS blockchain. It allows clients to integrate payment platforms (including Ubin), trading platforms and external software like user management systems, while enabling smart contracts and digital ledgers.
STACS’ products include a real-time trade processing platform that is used by clients like Eastspring Investments and BNP Paribas Securities Service. Some of its other clients are Deutsche Bank, Bursa Malaysia, EFG Bank and Bluecell Intelligence. STACS co-founder and managing director Benjamin Soh told TechCrunch that STACS is targeting a network of more than 30 institutions by the end of this year.
GreenSTACS launched last month in a collaboration with Bluecell Intelligence to help companies certify and monitor green and sustainability-related loans and bonds.
Soh said in an email that STACS received many requests from financial institutions that needed to perform impact monitoring on ESG projects, but were not able to do so effectively because “information sources are asymmetric, there is no common data infrastructure and serving of ESG financing is typically too inefficient.”
STACS’ goal is to make GreenSTACS “the common infrastructure” for ESG financing and impact monitoring, he added. The platform enables loan and bond parameters to be programmed into security tokens and connects with data sources, like IoT devices or satellite images, to create real-time impact reports on a distributed ledger. This helps prevent “greenwashing,” a term that refers to making something seem more environmentally-friendly or sustainable than it really is.
“Essentially, this would boost investors’ and banks’ confidence with green financing by ensuring green money is strictly used in achieving pledged green goals and policies,” said Soh.
In a press statement, Wavemaker general partner Gavin Lee said, “There is an immense opportunity to help financial institutions process large volumes of trade more quickly, securely and accurately while reducing costs and illiquid capital. As an enterprise distributed ledger technology provider, STACS has productized a secure layer that can be deployed instantly above existing infrastructure. Enterprise sales is never easy for young companies, but Benjamin is a convincing and seasoned serial entrepreneur who has secured numerous leading financial institutions as key clients.”