Web3 Native Payroll Company, Franklin, Raises $2.9M In Seed Funding

April 04 11:02 2023
Web3 Native Payroll Company, Franklin, Raises $2.9M In Seed Funding
gumi Cryptos Capital leads $2.9M investment round into Franklin Payroll
Founded by former Drivewealth team, Franklin is set to transform payroll industry

Franklin is the second to spin out of Serotonin, the leading web3 marketing firm & product studio

Investment round led by gumi Cryptos Capital and CMT Digital

NEW YORK CITY – 4 April, 2023 – Franklin, the first tax compliant hybrid cash and crypto payroll company, announced today that it has raised $2.9 million in a seed funding round led by gumi Cryptos Capital and CMT Digital, alongside strategic investors including Arca, Sfermion, Portage Ventures and Synergis Capital. The funds raised will be used to further develop the Franklin product suite, and to integrate with strategic partners to disrupt a payroll industry which is rife with inefficiencies, barriers to entry, and high costs. 

Franklin is founded by CEO Megan Knab, a crypto accountant and former VP of Finance at Serotonin, as well as COO Eric Brown, a seasoned financial product manager, and CTO Shaan Savarirayan, who built out the crypto trading desk at Drivewealth. Franklin offers a flexible and efficient payroll experience allowing for US employers and global teams to replace fractured service providers, crypto payments tools, and manual transactions with a single platform. 

Aimed at startups and SMBs, Franklin streamlines back offices with key features including: batched transactions, multicurrency selection, and automated tax filings. Due to its cryprto-native technology stack, Franklin — unlike most competitors — offers users non-custodial crypto asset management and the ability to instantly settle crypto transactions. Franklin can also process dollars within 2 business days, as opposed to the payroll industry standard of 5+ days.

“The inspiration for the idea, initially came from our own frustrations when it comes to managing a multi-currency balance sheet. Web3 operators everywhere experience the same problems – namely, error-prone manual transactions, high computational overhead, and key man risk. Payroll is one of the more complex types of financial transactions to solve in a crypto-native way. We built Franklin to help teams work together better,” said Megan Knab, Founder & CEO of Franklin.

Following a successful launch of Mojito, the web3 platform for NFT commerce and community engagement, Franklin is the second company to spin out of Serotonin, the leading web3 marketing firm and product studio. A year since launch, Mojito has grown 455% in revenue and has generated more than $120mm in sales for companies like Sotheby’s, CAA, Pace Gallery, Lyrical Lemonade, and the Milwaukee Bucks. The success of Franklin’s spin out and early market traction demonstrates that Serotonin is uniquely positioned to identify market gaps and validate concepts early, allowing it to place products in the hands of the right customers before anyone else. 

“As the largest web3 marketing firm, at Serotonin we get to know projects and their pain points. So many of these projects reached out to Megan when she was VP of Finance looking for a solution just like Franklin that the decision to support this team building it was a no brainer. One of the most qualified people on the planet at the intersection of crypto and accounting, Megan and her co-founders are ideally positioned to succeed at evolving the back office to meet the web3 future of teamwork,” said Amanda Cassatt, Founder & CEO of Serotonin.

Franklin is currently live on Ethereum Mainnet and Polygon, and supports crypto payments for teams both in the U.S. and internationally including EMEA, LATAM, APAC. In the U.S., Franklin capabilities extend beyond crypto payments and cash processing. Franklin handles U.S. local, state, federal tax withholdings and filings, and generates all tax forms. This allows US-based customers to benefit from features like automated payroll to easily collect, report, and pay corporate and employee taxes.

“Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse showed us that payroll is the single most existential enterprise application for every employee. As a former CFO, Megan has run countless payrolls, making her the ideal CEO for Franklin Payroll,” said Miko Matsumura, Managing Partner at gumi Cryptos Capital.

“Franklin’s streamlined fiat and crypto payroll infrastructure services help solve the increasingly common challenges that come with managing a distributed workforce across both web2 and web3 paradigms, especially as web2 companies look for innovative ways to seamlessly pay their international employees,” said Sam Hallene, investor at CMT Digital. “We are excited to support Megan, Eric, Shaan, and the rest of the talented Franklin team as they bring to market the next generation payroll solution.”

Initial customers of Franklin include Soul Wallet, Echooo and Alto. Companies can schedule a demo and sign up for Franklin at https://www.hellofranklin.co/. Franklin’s near-term plans include rolling out integrated retirement accounts and health benefits, and expanding its capabilities with additional layer-2 blockchains. 

About Franklin

Franklin is a tax compliant hybrid cash & crypto payroll service which allows businesses all over the world to pay their teams with more flexibility in a mix of fiat and cryptocurrencies. Intended for crypto-native and traditional startup/scale-up companies, Franklin helps to streamline back offices with key features including: batched transactions, multicurrency selection, and automated tax filings.

Driven by an experienced team of accounting professionals and technologists, Franklin’s mission is to solve inefficiencies, and eliminate the complexities and added costs associated with traditional payroll systems. Franklin is the second venture to launch out of web3 marketing firm and product studio Serotonin.

About Serotonin

Serotonin is the leading web3 marketing firm and product studio specializing in companies both native and new to crypto. Founded in 2020 by Amanda Cassatt, Serotonin leverages expertise in crypto, DeFi, DAOs, NFTs and blockchain verticals to enable companies of all sizes to foray into web3 with an end-to-end approach to marketing, content creation, public relations, social media, event management, and recruitment. Serotonin’s partners include Polygon, Layer Zero, Decentraland, World of Women, Filecoin, and Protocol Labs, in addition to household names like Sotheby’s, Vogue, and CAA.

In addition to marketing and recruiting services, Serotonin has created an in-house product studio that builds and launches web3 software companies. In 2021, Serotonin launched its first product, Mojito, the leading platform for NFT commerce and community engagement, followed by the second spin-out in 2022 of a tax compliant hybrid cash and crypto payroll service, Franklin.

About gumi Cryptos Capital

gumi Cryptos Capital (gCC) is a boutique early-stage venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley. We believe the Internet will become the single largest market in human history, and it will be rebuilt on a foundation of new protocols that protect and coordinate the transfer of digital assets, resources and intellectual property, generate consensus, incentivize network participants and decentralize ownership. Since 2018, we have been among the earliest supporters of the founders of successful projects like OpenSea, Yield Guild Games, 1inch, Hashflow, Qredo, and Agoric. We add value by leveraging our entrepreneurial experience and global networks.

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Website: https://serotonin.co/

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