Singapore: Qiro Finance Raises $1.2m to Bridge Credit Gap in Emerging Markets

Qiro Finance, a Singapore-headquartered decentralized finance (DeFi) startup founded by Akshay Poshatwar and Nishikant Bahalkar, announced a successful $1.2 million funding round to develop a decentralized credit protocol aimed at bridging the significant credit gap in emerging markets.

The startup said it is innovating at the intersection of fintech and DeFi by connecting non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) in emerging markets with global investors through blockchain and stablecoin technologies.

The investment round was led by web3 accelerator Alliance with contributions from Druid Ventures, Escape Velocity (EV3), Trident Digital, and CMT Digital.

Additionally, Qiro Finance has received a 100,000 MATIC grant from the Polygon under the ‘Polygon’s Village Build Ideas Program’ and a $50,000 development grant from the Aptos Foundation.

According to a KKR report, private lenders hold only a 21% share of the APAC market, compared to 67% in the US. This disparity limits access to non-bank credit for many borrowers in emerging markets.

Qiro Finance said it aims to mitigate this imbalance by facilitating easier access to global credit markets, thereby enabling economic growth and innovation within these regions.

Imran Khan, Founder of Alliance, emphasized the growing interest in Real World Assets (RWAs) within the traditional financing sector. He said:

Real World Assets are gaining traction as traditional firms seek alternative financing avenues embedded in crypto, broadening global financing options and enhancing accessibility.

The rise of RWA tokenization has become a significant trend in the crypto market, with major financial institutions like Blackrock and Franklin Templeton launching their funds on-chain. This movement reflects an industry shift towards an $8 billion total value locked, as reported by Messari.

Qiro Finance is set to utilize the funding to continue developing its decentralized credit protocol, which facilitates tokenized RWA-backed credit applications by integrating asset originators, investors, and credit underwriters within a unified framework. Nishikant Bahalkar, CPO and Co-founder of Qiro, stated:

RWA credit on-chain isn’t a novel concept; however, Qiro is pioneering open credit data and risk underwriting infrastructure for RWA credit protocols, addressing the adverse selection and credit defaults affecting on-chain credit transactions.

Chris Pizzo, Co-Founder and General Partner at Druid Ventures, commented on the potential of Qiro, He said:

Qiro has the potential to become the de facto credit data infrastructure, featuring a scalable and robust risk management layer at the protocol level.

Akshay Poshatwar, CEO and Co-founder, expressed optimism about the future:.

We are eagerly anticipating the journey ahead to revolutionize the private credit market. Our initial focus will be on supporting fintech asset originators within the Southeast Asian markets, with plans to expand into other emerging markets. By harnessing the potential of DeFi and blockchain technology, we remain committed to establishing a more transparent, efficient, and accessible credit ecosystem.

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