Today Sardine announced a $51.5 million Series B funding led by a16z that includes Visa, ING Ventures, Google Ventures and ConsenSys, amongst others. Andreessen Horowitz also led the company’s $19.5m Series A in February.
Sardine’s clients are not only crypto companies but digital assets firms dominate, including FTX and MoonPay.
Fintechs use the startup’s fraud detection solution when customers load their wallets from cards or via bank payments. For cards, decline rates can be significant, and Sardine helps to address that. The other route is bank payments, but in the U.S., ACH bank payments take two days. Often the fintech is willing to provide some level of access to the money instantly, perhaps up to $500.
If the bank payment turns out to be a fraud, then the merchant is on the hook. Hence there’s a need for robust fraud detection. Many of us have been asked to validate payments based on a tiny deposit into our bank account. Sardine uses this and several other techniques to assess the transaction, such as an unusually large transaction amount or whether the device had its SIM swapped recently.
A fair proportion of NFT buyers make purchases using cards, which is one of Sardine’s specific offerings. According to Techcrunch, it claims that new sports NFT client Autograph now has far higher conversion rates of 98%.
Other investors in the round include XYZ, Nyca Partners, Sound Ventures, Activant Capital, Eric Schmidt, The General Partnership, NAventures, Cross River Digital Ventures, Alloy Labs, and Uniswap Labs Ventures.