Blockchain-as-a-service software firm BanQu has closed an extension of its Series A funding round led by ZX Ventures, the venture arm of Budweiser’s parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev. While the amount of the funding was undisclosed, it adds to BanQu’s previous funding total of $2.6 million.
Based in Minnetonka, Minnesota, BanQu describes itself as both a “for-profit and for-purpose” software business that utilizes blockchain technology to help entrepreneurs and small-business owners across the world. The company helps develop a credit history and economic identity by assisting the unbanked or underbanked interact with the global economy.
“BanQu has developed the world’s first and only non-cryptocurrency blockchain platform to help lift people out of extreme poverty by connecting them to the global supply chains that they participate in, and the brands, organizations, and governments that power them,” said BanQu. “ZX Ventures’ funding will propel BanQu’s growth into new markets.”
According to the announcement, BanQu started collaborating with ZX Ventures in 2018 after BanQu launched a successful pilot project in Zambia, benefiting over 2,000 of the region’s small-holder cassava farmers. Successive roll outs in Uganda and India have since ensued, making Brazil the fourth market where BanQu will assist AB InBev in reaching the global brewer’s 2025 sustainability goals.
“After BanQu’s outstanding pilot performance in our 100+ Accelerator, we are pleased to solidify the partnership with Ashish, Jeff and the entire team at BanQu through an equity investment,” said Tony Milikin, Chief Sustainability and Procurement Officer at AB InBev. “Together, we are working to improve access to modern banking for thousands of farmers in underserved rural markets, driving inclusive growth and contributing to our own 2025 Sustainability Goal as well as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.”
BanQu Co-Founder and CEO Ashish Gadnis said that farmers at the world’s “last mile,” traditionally excluded from the global economy and lacking a verifiable economic identity, are now visible, financially empowered, and connected in the global supply chain of AB InBev.
“The ZX investment takes this partnership to a whole new level of commitment on both sides,” Gadnis said. “It cements our core shared vision of making the world a better place while being good business stewards.”
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