Ansa: Digital Wallet Infrastructure Company Raises $5.4 Million

By Noah Long • May 4, 2023

Ansa announced a first-of-its-kind digital wallet infrastructure platform for merchants along with its first round of funding of $5.4 million. This funding round was led by Christina Melas-Kyriazi at Bain Capital Ventures with participation from Nimi Katragadda at Box Group, Nichole Wischoff at Wischoff Ventures, Cambrian Ventures, The Fintech Fund, and Susa Ventures. Female investors and angels contributed over 75% of the funding round.

The market: Credit and debit cards account for 57% of consumer payments in the US. However, the true costs to merchants remain hidden from the average consumer. Plus card fees – especially for micropayments – can represent well over 12.5% of the transaction.

Formation of Ansa: Ansa’s co-founders Sophia Goldberg and JT Cho witnessed the challenges faced by merchants firsthand while working for Adyen and Affirm, respectively. The high payment costs are felt by merchants across categories: from coffee, quick serve, and transportation to vertical platforms, marketplaces, and creator platforms wanting to support micro-transactions.

This is especially true for those with more unique needs in what Ansa calls HULT merchants: habitual use, and low transaction value. And these merchants have to patch together vendors, invest in a cross-team complex engineering project, and spend large sums on compliance to get a closed-loop program live today. Through Ansa, a merchant can create a wallet within weeks rather than quarters with their flexible, API-first wallet-as-a-service platform.

The economics of payments have stayed the same for the past 70 years compared to how commerce has changed. And Ansa is built around the co-founders’ shared ethos that payments should be a tool, not a hurdle. So merchants often build hacks for payments to work for their use cases rather than payments empowering their businesses.

Ansa is currently piloting with customers in the coffee and quick-serve industries although their platform can support many verticals. Through Ansa’s innovative solution, merchants can quickly and compliantly launch smooth, digitally native customer balances to increase revenue and decrease the costs of payments. And customers who keep a merchant balance tend to visit more often and have higher transaction sizes, and significant cost savings can be funneled into loyalty programs or marketing to further strengthen that customer relationship.


“Your most loyal customers shouldn’t cost you the most. We want to help merchants strengthen their relationship with their most loyal customers, while still optimizing unit economics.” Sophia spent over four years in Adyen’s Product and Account Management teams and wrote the best-selling book “The Field Guide to Global Payments.” JT was previously an engineer at Google, Affirm, and Impira.”

“Over the last few years, digital wallets have become an increasingly popular payment method. We’ve seen this adoption in other countries such as China through AliPay and WeChat Pay, and expect this trend to continue globally. In the US, Starbucks has been a leader in closed-loop mobile payments with its wallet. Overall payments in the US lag behind the world. We’re on a mission to help merchants embed payments in a way that fits their use cases best.”

  • Ansa co-founder Sophia Goldberg

“We believe Ansa can do to closed-loop wallets what Marqeta has done for card-issuing, accelerating adoption by lowering the bar and cost to implement. Today it’s too costly and burdensome for most merchants to offer payment systems that give them control and flexibility while lowering cost. Ansa wants to change that. I met Sophia and JT independently and recommended they become co-founders because they are both deep in payments and uniquely well-suited to solving this problem.”

  • Christina Melas-Kyriazi, partner at Bain Capital Ventures