Intelligent Issue 31 | Page 48



Y-Combinator ’ s Verto launches USD accounts with funds safeguarded for African start-ups

V erto , a London-based FCAauthorised Electronic Money Institution ( EMI ), launched USD accounts that see customer funds deposited held in protected accounts in accordance with Electronic Money Regulations 2011 ( EMRs ), which imposes safeguarding requirements to protect customer funds received for the provision of a payment service or e-money .

Following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank ( SVB ), start-ups and tech enterprises across the globe have been looking for bank accounts that can ensure assets remain protected in the event of a financial shock . Several Y-Combinator-backed FinTechs have stepped up their support in the US , including Brex and Mercury , by increasing their provision to protect deposited funds up to US $ 2.25 million and $ 3 million respectively .
However , Y-Combinator-backed Verto has also taken an unprecedented step to support start-ups and enterprises in the African ecosystem by offering safeguarded USD accounts with 100 % protection . These funds are ringfenced and forbidden from being lent out , contrasting with the conventional traditional banking practice of investing deposited funds .
This enhancement offers levels of protection not seen before for African start-ups , enterprises and venture captials ( VCs ) that hold international currencies and ensures that their finances are always safe , secure and accessible , despite a volatile financial environment .
“ The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank ( SVB ) is unprecedented , and we ’ ve been overwhelmed by businesses and VCs reaching out for support . In times like these , we believe an unprecedented response was necessary , which is why we launched USD accounts ,” said Verto Co-founder and CTO , Anthony Oduu .
“ Making 100 % safeguarded USD accounts available for African startups and enterprises was not easy , but our team worked tirelessly to make it happen . We would also like to thank our global tier-1 partner banks for responding to our calls to support the African ecosystem ,” continued Oduu .
Verto services half of Africa ’ s tech unicorns , as well as global giants including Maersk , MTN and Interswitch , making the new solution another crucial step in ensuring African businesses are given the world-class protection and tools necessary to succeed .
Verto Co-founder and CEO , Ola Oyetayo said : “ As CEOs , it is our responsibility to ensure that our companies are wellpositioned to navigate any potential financial crisis that may arise . In times of increased volatility , speculation , and uncertainty , prioritising safeguarding and protective measures for our business is more important than ever .” �
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