Sequoia backs startup making it easier for businesses to invest in US Treasury Bills
Amit Jain, former head of Uber's Asia Pacific division, said on Monday that his new venture, Zamp Finance, has secured $21.7 million in seed funding.
Zamp Finance simplifies the process for businesses to invest their excess capital in US Treasury bills, providing a hedge against bank failures and other uncertainties. The US-registered startup's seed round was led by Sequoia India and Southeast Asia, with participation from a number of high-profile executives including Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, former SoftBank chief operating officer Marcelo Claure and Doordash chief executive Tony Xu.
TechCrunch reported about the investment talks in May. Jain left Sequoia India and Southeast Asia, where he served as a partner, last year.
Zamp offers a treasury management platform that enables businesses worldwide to invest surplus cash in U.S. Treasury bills and notes, partnering with BNY Mellon Pershing, which manages over $2 trillion. While the platform serves businesses of all sizes, it does not cater to individuals. US Treasury Bills are regarded as a safe investment, as they are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, has high liquidity, predictable yield and tax benefits.
"Our customers, and a lot of them are startups, are not looking for a particular yield or want to speculate with the cash they have. They are looking for ways to keep their cash safe in a way that protects them from risks related to currency or institution," said Jain in an interview.
Zamp has multiple appeal: It eases a firm's access to financial instruments and serves as a corporate treasurer, allowing businesses to keep focus on their core operations. Zamp's customers get brokerage accounts with BNY Mellon, meaning that their funds remain segregated from those of other customers.
Zamp declined to reveal how many customers it has, but noted that more than a hundred businesses signed up in two weeks following the collapse of the Silicon Valley Bank.
"If all your money is in a bank, then you're subject to the risks of the bank. It's not something that people thought much about earlier, but obviously has been in the news for the last few weeks. Now an increasingly growing number of founders are thinking about diversification of cash into multiple bank accounts," Jain said.
Zamp plans to add more financial instruments over time. Jain said the startup has evaluated several sovereign funds and corporate bonds, but he asserted that whether Zamp offers them to customers depends on their feedback and demand.