Thai CP Group-backed Velo Labs merges with US payments startup Interstellar

Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

Velo Labs, a cross-border settlement protocol backed by Thai conglomerate CP Group, has merged with US-based international payment startup Interstellar in a nine-digit US dollar transaction, according to an announcement.

Interstellar CEO Mike Kennedy and CTO James Wu have become the new CEO and CTO of Velo Labs, respectively, following the deal.

Interstellar was formed in 2018 as the Stellar Development Foundation’s for-profit unit Lightyear acquired Visa- and Citi-backed blockchain startup Chain.

Velo Labs was founded in 2019 to build a cross-border blockchain settlement network focused on the Southeast Asia market.

Chatchaval Jiaravanon, a son of the Thai billionaire Chearavanont family that controls CP Group, will remain as chairman of both Velo Labs and Lightnet – the commercial entity behind Velo Labs.

Bangkok-based Lightnet raised a $31.2 million Series A funding round last year from UOB Venture Management, Hanwha Investment and Securities, 7-Eleven owner Seven Bank, Uni-President Asset Holdings, Chinese automotive and financial conglomerate WanXiang Group’s investment arm HashKey Capital, and Singapore-based Hopeshine Ventures, Du Capital and Signum Capital.

Velo Labs and Interstellar had initiated a cross-border payment partnership in January 2020. Since then, Velo has issued its Velo Tokens on the Stellar network, listed Velo Tokens on major exchanges such as KuCoin, VCC, OKEx and MXC, developed the Velo Protocol with core functions (including digital credit issuance system, digital reserve system and the Hermes Warp Protocol), and completed its first live transactions using its Federated Credit Exchange network in December 2020.

“Working together as one company will enable us to quickly expand Velo’s ecosystem and continue innovation on the protocol to meet our growing list of partners’ needs,” commented Jiaravanon.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.