Mesh (formerly Front Finance), a startup developing a service to help customers transfer and manage digital assets like crypto, has raised $22 million in a Series A funding round led by Money Forward with participation from Galaxy, Samsung Next, Streamlined Ventures, SNR.VC, Hike VC, Heitner Group, Valon Capital, Florida Funders, Altair Capital, Network VC and various angels.
Mesh will use the new cash, which brings its total raised to date to $32 million, to further develop its tools for deposits, payments and payouts, co-founder and CEO Bam Azizi says, as well as support its go-to-market operations.
“Consumers are increasingly focused on digital-first experiences when it comes to their money — whether it’s online banking or a collectible asset,” Azizi told TechCrunch in an email interview. “Mesh is reinventing the connection layer that’s essential to facilitating these digital-first user experiences, giving users the ability to access and move their money on their own terms.”
Mesh, a participant in the Startup Battlefield 200 competition at TC Disrupt 2023, was founded in 2020 by Azizi and Adam Israel. Prior to starting Mesh, Azizi launched the cybersecurity and identity company NoPassword, which LogMeIn acquired in 2019. Israel came from the banking sector, having worked at HSBC as a managing director.
Azizi and Israel spent several years building the core infrastructure for Mesh before rolling it out, alongside the company’s business-to-business offerings, in September 2022, with the goal of making Mesh the “intermediate connection layer” between non-traditional assets.
Businesses can use Mesh to let their customers move assets — including crypto — across different platforms. And users can connect different asset classes and accounts holding those assets with read, write and transfer capabilities to Mesh, having the platform aggregate all of their accounts.
Mesh supports in-app transfers of assets across exchanges and wallets, plus payments and payouts of crypto. Azizi asserts that Mesh doesn’t store users’ personal information or credentials, keeps transfer destinations anonymous from the perspective of external accounts and doesn’t actually touch assets, providing a purely direct account-to-account transfer.
“Mesh’s plug and play solution is particularly compelling for those businesses that want to give more interoperability to their users but are not willing to build the APIs from scratch for every platform,” Azizi said. “We want Mesh to be present in every single transaction that happens in the digital world and make it more secure, compliant and user-friendly.”
Is Mesh more secure, compliant and user-friendly than what’s out there? Perhaps. In any case, Mesh’s sales pitch appears to have won over a respectable number of customers — the company claims to have 70 paying clients across the finance and digital assets industries.
Certainly, it’s a large addressable market. Millions of people globally, including 16% of adult Americans, have purchased digital assets, which reached a market capitalization of $3 trillion globally last November. Investors in Mesh are no doubt angling for a slice of that pie.
“With this recent funding, we are in an incredibly strong place to execute against our long-term vision,” Azizi said.