Avanti Raises $37m to Launch Digital Asset Bank in the US

Avanti Financial Group has raised $37 million in a Series A financing round which was upsized twice due to market demand.

The firm will use the proceeds to fund the required regulatory capital needed to launch its digital asset bank.

The funding round was led by Premier Ark and included a mix of institutional investors, cryptocurrency companies, and family offices, as well as multiple Avanti executives and directors.

Institutional investors include Premier Ark, 1843 Capital, AP Capital, Banca del Ceresio, Binance.US, Coinbase Ventures, ECMC Group, Equity Management Associates, Greybull Stewardship, Hard Yaka, HashKey, Holon Global Investments, Lemniscap, Madison Paige Ventures, Morgan Creek Digital, PJT Partners, Slow Ventures, Susquehanna Private Equity Investments and The University of Wyoming Foundation, among others.

Trace Mayer, Manager at Premier Ark, said: “As Bitcoin and digital asset markets mature and financialization network effects take root, there is a tremendous need for both well crafted laws and experienced, competent operators.

“When surveying the globe, in my opinion Wyoming best meets these needs generally, and the Avanti team specifically is among the most potent institutional-quality human capital. Avanti is extremely well positioned to competently answer questions that most in the industry have not even thought about yet.”

Caitlin Long, Founder and CEO at Avanti, commented: “We thank our investors for helping Avanti build a new breed of bank that services Bitcoin and also offers meaningful API capabilities for U.S. dollar transactions to tech-savvy customers. Our roadmap includes offering API-based U.S. dollar payment services for wires, ACH and SWIFT; issuance of our tokenized, programmable U.S. dollar called Avit™*; and custody and on-/off-ramp services for bitcoin and other digital assets.

“We have received more than 2,500 inbound customer inquiries since announcing receipt of our bank charter in October 2020, and we look forward to being able to service customers later this year. We expect to provide more details about our launch soon.”

Avanti aims to address people’s need for a bank. As a state-chartered depository institution, Avanti is eligible to become a U.S. dollar clearing bank at the Federal Reserve and has applied to do so.

U.S. dollar clearing banks can directly clear payments for their customers at the Federal Reserve. Banks have 11 categories of special treatment under U.S. securities laws and are “qualified custodians”, while OCC-chartered trust banks and state-chartered trust companies may not be.

Digital asset companies tend to rely on clearing entities that do not handle digital assets, increasing both credit and counterparty risk.

Avanti offers real-time settlement finality for U.S. dollar payments in digital asset transactions. This translates to the possibility of executing an “atomic swap” or settle on a “delivery-versus-payment” basis where one leg of the transaction involves fiat currency.

The digital asset bank is headquartered in Wyoming for its legal regime that addresses the enforceability of transactions involving digital assets. The state’s property rights-oriented approach to digital asset laws makes Wyoming the most investor-friendly state for digital asset investors, according to Avanti.