Cosmose AI, the Singapore-based company specializing in AI-driven in-store foot traffic analytics and customer engagement, has partnered with Near Protocol, a blockchain competitor to Ethereum, to develop a low-cost crypto payment system.
The move aims to increase cryptocurrency adoption among the general public, as the innovative payment system offers considerable savings for buyers and sellers.
Cosmose raises valuation to $500 million with strategic investment
The Near Foundation, Near Protocol’s non-profit arm, has made a strategic investment in Cosmose, bringing the company’s valuation up to $500 million.
The investment amount remains undisclosed, but it follows Cosmose’s $15 million Series A financing in 2020, which valued the company at $100 million.
As part of the partnership, Near will help Cosmose implement blockchain technology in its KaiKai app, which allows users to discover nearby retail stores, and its online targeting platform.
KaiKai app offers cheaper transactions blockchain
Cosmose’s founder and CEO, Miron Mironiuk, sought to reduce the costs of online payments for consumers and vendors through the partnership with Near.
Traditional payment processing companies, such as Stripe and PayPal, charge over 10% for small transactions, leading to higher prices for consumers.
The Near-powered blockchain payment system, integrated into the KaiKai app, significantly reduces transaction costs, saving users as much as 50 times compared to traditional methods.
KaiKai’s native stablecoin, Kai-Ching, which runs on Near’s network, facilitates these cost savings. Users can top up their accounts with fiat currencies, and in the future, they may have the option to convert Kai-Ching back into fiat.
The stablecoin is pegged to the US dollar and only tradable within the app to prevent value volatility.
Since launching the crypto payment option in Singapore last September, Kai-Ching has processed over one million transactions, including payments, refunds, and rewards.
With one-third of transactions being paid in Kai-Ching, the success in Singapore suggests potential expansion to other crypto-friendly jurisdictions.
In addition to cost savings, Cosmose and Near are working to give users more control over their personal data. Near is assisting Cosmose in migrating user data onto its blockchain and creating a system for users to see how they are being tracked.
The ultimate goal is to store user data on their phones using edge computing, allowing people to choose how they want to be tracked for more accurate product recommendations and rewards.
Since its inception, Cosmose has served over 20 million stores and reached one billion phones worldwide, with a workforce of 80 staff across multiple locations, including Warsaw, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, and Paris.