SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Stronghold, a payments and financial infrastructure company, has launched Stronghold Capital to invest $100 Million in pioneering companies and funds across three core areas: overlooked and underrepresented founders and fund managers, the payments and fintech ecosystem, and the Web3 and blockchain ecosystem.
The creation of an investment arm follows a wave of momentum for the Stronghold’s SHx token, now listed on KuCoin, a top-five global currency exchange. Stronghold Capital has invested in a crypto market firm, Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Research, by committing to a DeFi syndicated loan through Maple Finance, an institutional capital marketplace built on blockchain. Stronghold has also invested in Precursor Ventures, which backs promising seed-stage innovators, and is looking to invest in companies with founders who identify as women, LGBTQ+ or Black, indigenous, people of color (BIPOC).
Stronghold’s business grew five-fold across most measures last year while fulfilling the company’s mission to provide fast, secure, and accessible financial services for all. But these industries are multi-layered and complex. The challenges in payments and financial services will take many innovative companies to solve. Stronghold Capital will drive meaningful change through investments in companies with business models that will generate attractive returns while expanding access from Stronghold’s payments ecosystem to the overall financial ecosystem.
Stronghold CEO and co-founder Tammy Camp will serve as fund manager for Stronghold Capital. She advanced growth in fintech and blockchain throughout her earlier roles as partner at 500 Startups, head of growth at Stellar Development Foundation, and adviser to NFX Capital.
“Tammy understands the potential of technology, identifies rising talent, cares about societal reach, and can turn great ideas into realities. We’re excited to have her among this first pool of decentralized finance investors,” said Sidney Powell, CEO and Co-Founder of Maple Finance.
Stronghold’s merchant reward program drew attention in crypto communities last fall for its real-world application of the Stellar-based SHx token toward payment processing fees. Leading up to the KuCoin listing, three other top global digital currency exchanges—ranking 20, 15, and 10—listed SHx over the course of just two months.
Stronghold, as part of its own growth journey, raised capital from accomplished fintech founders, leading companies, and prominent industry advisors. Investors who have supported Stronghold’s rapid growth include: Ron Suber, The Bancorp co-founders Frank Mastrangelo and former CEO Betsy Cohen, Randy Reddig from the founding team of Square, Rob Stavis of Bessemer Venture Partners, Marqeta founder & CEO Jason Gardener, former Oppenheimer CEO, president & chairman Arthur Steinmetz, NerdWallet founder Jake Gibson, SoFi co-founder Dan Macklin, and Xpring now known as RippleX.
“Stronghold Capital will create opportunities to develop new products and business models that improve financial infrastructure for everyone,” said Camp. “Identifying and investing in emerging talent—especially underrepresented and undervalued founders— stands to benefit the developer community, the fintech industry, and even society as a whole.”
Stronghold is a leading financial infrastructure company that provides fast, secure, and accessible financial services through a simple API. Stronghold works with businesses to make payments quicker and easier while maintaining regulatory compliance and interoperability between payment systems. Stronghold launched the highly successful digital currency SHx in 2018 to provide real time settlement, discount in fees for business customers, rewards, and merchant cash advances. SHx currently has a market capitalization of more than $1.5 billion. To learn more, visit stronghold.co.