SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Masa Finance, the first-of-its-kind hybrid credit protocol, has come out of stealth and announces completing a Pre-Seed funding round of $3.5 million USD (closed in November 2021) from Unshackled Ventures, executives from GoldenTree Asset Management (a $46bn credit-focused fund), Flori Ventures (Celo-focused fund), GSR, Decentranet, Intersect VC, Lateral Capital, Peer VC, Alves Ventures, and several angel investors in the fintech/blockchain space including Louis Beryl (founder of Earnest), Gustavo Menezes (24hr of Le Mans Driver for Peugeot Sport), and Jacob Riglin; a high-profile NFT artist who will be launching future NFT-collateralized loan products.
Masa has developed critical infrastructure for Web3 that enables on-chain credit scoring for billions of people globally. By aggregating off-chain and on-chain data into a non-fungible credit report, Masa gives lenders and developers easy access to the tools needed to evaluate borrower risk and launch lending products for individuals and businesses globally. Masa aggregates over 10,000 sources of off-chain data (bank, credit bureau, and alternative data) from 78 countries through integrations with credit bureaus, bank data aggregators, and alternative data through its partner Pngme. Additionally, Masa has global coverage for on-chain data through 26 integrations to exchanges and wallets — opening up a market of 4.95 billion people through its decentralized credit infrastructure.
Through Masa, individuals and businesses can link, manage, and track off-chain and on-chain data to leverage their complete financial profile as a hybrid credit score – enabling access to credit through fully on-chain services. Liquidity providers can fund lending pools in rated tranches, allowing them to gain returns that outperform traditional markets.
“The current financial system fails to serve individuals fairly and equitably with equal access to education, tools, and custom financial products that include investments, savings, and responsible access to credit,” said Brendan Playford, Masa’s Founder. “Masa believes that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to build wealth by leveraging credit. By combining centralized and decentralized finance elements, Masa’s platform will play a vital role in establishing an inclusive credit system and onboard the first billion users to DeFi.”
Masa is building on Celo and Ethereum, has 36,000 people signed up to the platform, and 2,100+ node operators on its live testnet that supports zero-knowledge private transactions and smart contracts. Masa has seen double-digit growth each month as they’ve started rolling out their platform into different markets. The first credit products launching on the protocol include a credit builder loan, uncollateralized loans, and an SME line of credit through its app. Masa was selected to participate in CoinList Seed Fall 21 and was the winner of CeloCamp Batch 4.
“This is Unshackled’s second time backing Brendan Playford, and it’s no accident,” said Manan Mehta, founding GP of Unshackled Ventures. “From the moment we got to know Brendan and his vision for a better world, we have been inspired. What Masa reflects is a more equitable future that provides access to capital to a global population, mostly overlooked by traditional finance. We feel fortunate to be a part of this journey as the values of Masa align squarely with ours.”
The traditional financial system has left behind vast segments of the population with little or no means to build credit and participate in the global economy. Masa Finance was created to disrupt the current socioeconomic inequality paradigm and unlock financial freedom by making credit and wealth creation available to anyone through decentralized finance (DeFi).
“I’m excited to invest in Masa Finance,” said Jacob Riglin. “My contribution reflects the significance of Masa’s mission of empowering financially excluded individuals to utilize a comprehensive credit profile and begin building wealth.”
With the pre-seed behind them, Masa is now raising a Seed Round to increase the engineering team’s size and launch the protocol’s production release, conduct a public token sale, scale users and node operators, and bring developers and lenders to the platform. Individuals and liquidity providers can sign up for a beta account for mobile and web, while developers and node operators can get started in the developer documents here. If you are an engineer or passionate about blockchain and access to credit, please check out our careers page here or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org – we would love to hear from you!
About Masa Finance
Masa Finance seeks to disrupt traditional centralized credit infrastructure by providing individuals, businesses, and developers with the tools to access credit and enable untapped wealth creation for 4.95B people globally. Masa is a hybrid credit protocol that links traditional financial accounts and assets (credit bureau records and bank data) to crypto holdings to determine an all-encompassing non-fungible credit report, enabling access to a wide range of financial tools and instruments. The Masa platform empowers individuals and businesses to create a decentralized credit report, increasing their investing and purchasing power and unlocking access to markets and capital that traditional finance does not.