Danish startup Januar announced April 19 that it has received a Payment Institution License from the country’s Financial Supervisory Authority (DFSA). The license will allow Januar to conduct business in the 30 European Economic Area markets, whereas it only served Danish companies under its previous limited permission.
Januar provides International Bank Account Number (IBAN) business accounts to crypto businesses. Linking to IBAN infrastructure gives crypto companies access to compliant fiat banking services, such as payments and settlement, which crypto companies may have trouble finding otherwise. Januar co-CEO Simon Ousager said:
“Access to banking and reliable payment infrastructure has always been lacking behind the general pace of innovation in the crypto space, and the recent events with ‘crypto-friendly’ banks shutting down is a testament to this unfortunate industry trend.”
Ousager continued that the licensing of Januar was “taking a huge step in the opposite direction.”
Januar, which was founded in 2021 by former Chainalysis staff, broke the Danish record for startup funding the next year, receiving 6 million euros ($6.5 million) in seed money. The funding round was led by Element Ventures, with the participation of Angular Ventures Outward VC and byFounders. Several angel investors also participated.
How do you solve crypto companies’ access to banking in the EU? This week on the Public Key podcast, @SimonOusager, CEO & co-founder of @januar, explains how his company is solving this problem and revolutionizing the payment gateway in the EU. https://t.co/MFcNZgriar pic.twitter.com/c5Sz930guQ
— Chainalysis (@chainalysis) April 11, 2023
Finding banking services has become more challenging for crypto companies since the collapse of crypto-friendly Silvergate Bank on March 8, followed by the closure of Signature Bank by New York regulators the following week.
At the same time, European banks have been expanding their crypto services. VP Bank in Liechtenstein expanded its custody and tokenization services in April. A Boerse Stuttgart Digital subsidiary received a license to provide custody services in March, and German Dwpbank announced that it would open a new platform to provide Bitcoin (BTC) trading for around 1,200 banks in the country.