Cross River teams with Sardine, as crypto moves into payments

Newly minted unicorn, Cross River Bank, set to provide ACH transfers to users of the Sardine platform

by | April 26, 2022 | bobsguide

New Jersey-based fintech infrastructure specialist, Cross River Bank, has joined forces with fraud and compliance start-up Sardine on an API integration targeting fraud prevention for crypto payments.

The two fintech firms will partner to provide users of the Sardine platform with ACH transfers via Cross River, according to a release. The main focus of the partnership is streamlining and securing crypto transfers and payments with corporate users in mind.

“We are excited to partner with Sardine to deliver an elegant infrastructure solution for the next wave of fintech and crypto companies,” said Keith Vander Leest, director of payments at Cross River.

“The Sardine team has the experience and know-how to help crypto partners make the crypto on-ramp or off-ramp process user friendly and efficient. The value-add on top of our proprietary banking and payments core, COS, that Sardine has created is quite innovative.”

Sardine’s core offering is centred around fraud prevention, compliance infrastructure and an additional infrastructure layer that connects fiat and cryptocurrency.

Founded in 2020 by Revolut’s former head of financial risk and head of crypto, Soups Ranjan, the start-up received  $19.5 million in Series A funding from Andreessen Horowitz, NYCA, and Experian Ventures in February.

Cross River announced its own fundraising round, for $620m in March, also led by Andeerssen Horowitz alongside Eldridge Industries, with participation from PE funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Investment Management, Inc., Whale Rock and Hanaco Ventures.

Following the funding round, fourteen-year-old Cross River’s valuation went up to $3bn, powered by an explosion in fintech financing. The fintech, which has centred its business around lending and financing for private start-ups and scale-ups has seen its business grow from $2.4bn in loan origination in 2016 to over $24bn in 2022 according to Cross River’s own figures.

Accelerating investment in crypto infrastructure

The partnership highlights the growing institutionalisation of the cryptocurrency space, through enhanced infrastructure and services aimed at consumers and businesses.

On the institutional side, this is the latest partnership targeted at streamlining crypto asset flows. On April 13, institutional tech provider FIS announced that it had partnered with crypto custody, transfer and settlement provider Fireblocks to offer the latter’s services to its clients.

In March, global asset manager State Street chose London-based start-up Copper for its crypto custody offering.

Other financial incumbents have opted to develop a crypto custody offering in-house. Most recently, on April 22, Germany’s Commerzbank revealed that it had applied for a local crypto license with a view of developing a custody offering.

As the institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies accelerates, payment and infrastructure specialists have been experimenting with new routes to bring crypto to individual financial users as well.

In early April, Strike announced that it had become the crypto payment provider of choice for Shopify and pre-paid payments firm Blackhawk Network, enabling the use of Bitcoin at NCR point-of-sale terminals.

The partnerships, which leverage the Lightning blockchain network, will allow consumers to use bitcoin at McDonald’s, Walmart, Starbucks, Best Buy, Home Depot, Staples, Wendy’s and Macys, among other US retailers.