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Kirk Simpson, Peter Carrescia and Kirk Simpson Raise CAD$6.5 million abd Launch Qui Identity

Betakit | | Aug 4, 2022

Peter C and Kirk S - Kirk Simpson, Peter Carrescia and Kirk Simpson Raise CAD$6.5 million abd Launch Qui IdentityKirk Simpson is just one month removed from stepping down as CEO of Toronto-based Wave, and about to embark on his next venture.  Simpson has teamed up with early Wave investor Peter Carrescia to launch a company focused on decentralized identities, called Qui Identity. Things are moving fast for the pair: Simpson and Carrescia have secured $6.5 million CAD ($5 million USD) from a notable group of Canadian investors for what is essentially an idea.

The duo explained that they are still in the early stages, and yet to build a product, but are focused on accelerating the adoption of decentralized identity. The goal is to work with both consumers and businesses to make it easier and give them more control over how they share their digital information.

See:  The Evolving Digital Identity Landscape

The Qui founders were able to raise the money for their idea so quickly because of their deep history and track record in Canadian tech. Simpson led Wave to its $537 million CAD exit to H&R Block in 2019, while Carresscia is known for being an early Wave investor as a founding member of OMERS Ventures alongside John Ruffolo. After a stint as head of Next Canada, Carrescia joined the Wave team in 2016 as senior vice president of strategy and corporate development, before departing to become a venture partner at Toronto-based VC firm Information Venture Partners.

“They have a proven history as entrepreneurs with Wave, and their success is unmatched,” said Satraj Bambra, managing partner at Round13 Digital Asset Fund, which led Qui’s round.

The challenge there was that companies had to run these verified data registries and it was all just within their own company walls, and it was hard to scale globally, especially in the consumer space,” he said. “But now that’s possible because of things like the blockchain.  There are lots of smart people thinking about this space, don’t get me wrong, but the go-to-market has not been figured out,” Simpson claimed, citing a lack of control and trust between consumers, businesses, and third parties that share data.

See:  Digital Identity Sins

“[The industry has] been very focused on folks that are passionate about Web3, and what I think we can bring is a lot of experience around how to build products that, at Wave, would be onboarding tens of thousands of small businesses every month,” said Simpson. “And to do that you need to make things really simple … That is what we can bring to this space, a bridge between Web2 and Web3 that brings some of this stuff more to the masses.”

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NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Kirk Simpson, Peter Carrescia and Kirk Simpson Raise CAD$6.5 million abd Launch Qui IdentityThe National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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