OweMe, a blockchain based B2B payments platform owned by London based Sabstone Ltd, has raised $1 million in a seed round of funding from pi Ventures. It plans to use the funds raised to strengthen its product and team, said a statement. The deal marks the first overseas investment by Bengaluru based venture capital firm pi Ventures.
Founded in 2016 by Nishant Singh and Nisha Singh, OweMe enables banks and enterprises to lend to their supply chain. The platform is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority, a financial regulatory body in the United Kingdom, to issue electronic money that lets companies create, pay and track their own currency pegged against Fiat currencies to reduce friction and increase financial efficiencies.
“The founders started the company in India but the regulatory framework in London was very supportive of their business and hence they decided to shift base. This is a one-off investment and not a strategy shift (for pi Ventures). We will continue to focus on India based AI (artificial intelligence) investments,” Abishek Surendran, partner at the venture capital firm told TechCircle.
OweMe has been part of FCA Sandbox, an initiative that enables fintech companies to test products and services in the real market, Accenture Fintech Innovation Lab and is backed by Capital Enterprise.
pi Ventures focuses on investments in applied AI and Internet of Things (IoT). In August this year, the firm raised Rs 225 crore ($31 million) for its debut fund, exceeding its initial target. The UK’s CDC Group came in as a Limited Partner in August. The fund has so far invested in startups such as SigTuple, Niramai, Ten3T and Locus.sh and exited energy management startup Zenatix in May.
In an interview with VCCircle in September, founding partner Manish Singhal talked about lessons derived from the Zenatix exit and issues on startups valuations, AI-based startups in India.