The most exciting blockchain funding rounds in 2020 | Blockchain Expo
Every blockchain start-up requires capital injection to grow further and contribute towards the advancement of the technology. In 2019, the amount of cash investment in blockchain technology and cryptocurrency start-ups was almost 30 per cent lower than 2018’s high of $4.3bn. However, in Q4 2019, cryptocurrency and digital payment network Ripple was the top performer that left other financial technology companies behind.
In the fourth quarter, Ripple raised a whopping $200m in series C funding led by SBI Group, Tetragon and Route 66 Ventures. With this funding round, Ripple is now worth $10bn..
Now that we are in 2020, let’s see how other fintech firms across the world are performing and what the future holds for them.
In early January, Thailand-based Lightnet raised $31.2m in a series A funding round led by UOB Venture Management, Seven Bank, Uni-President Asset Holdings, HashKey Capital, Hopeshine Ventures, Signum Capital, Du Capital, and Hanwha Investment and Securities. The raised funds will be used to fortify the company’s investment in the underlying blockchain technology on the Stellar Network, and to build a next-generation financial mobility network.
The Thai firm offers three innovative solutions, BridgeNet, LiquidNet and SmartNet.
Lightnet has 500,000 cash agents across its ecosystem and will be integrating with several prominent payment and remittance partners like MoneyGram, Seven Bank, Yeahka, and Ksher across Japan, South Korea, and several other South East Asia nations to ensure successful activation of its ecosystem. In the same month, Washington D.C-based blockchain services firm Securrency secured $17.65m in series A funding round led by New York-based WisdomTree Investments as a strategic investor.
In February, California-based Paystand raised $20m in a series B funding round that will help the firm to expand sales, marketing, , and engineering teams at its California and Mexico offices. Paystand simplifies complex commercial transactions and payments for enterprises, with the company claiming it wants to do for enterprise transactions what Venmo has done for consumer-to-consumer deals. The platform is supposedly the industry’s only solution for organisations and their finance teams that digitises the entire enterprise cash cycle and functions on a free subscription model.
The Paystand platform automates the payment experience from invoice to reconciliation and integrates seamlessly with a company’s System of Record. Moreover, the platform as a service (PaaS) payment network offers a real-time, fund-verified, blockchain assured payment network that instantly moves money between two businesses and saves more than half on the costs of accepting payments and processing invoices, while reducing days’ sales outstanding by more than 60 per cent.
In the same month, Clear Blockchain Technologies raised $13m in series A funding to further its mission to ‘transform B2B enterprise clearing and settlement’ through blockchain. Founded in 2018, Clear aims at facilitating frictionless B2B commerce allowing enterprises to realise more value from their partnerships. It has developed a platform that helps enterprises automate contracts and data management, aiming to guarantee control, security, and privacy in networks with multiple partners. This shared ecosystem allows automatic payments and clearing, reducing transaction fees, long payment cycles and managing fraud prevention.
Clear has conducted several trials in the telecom industry wherein it moved millions of dollars for organisations like BT, Colt, Deutsche Telekom, PCCW Global, Telefónica, Telstra, TATA, and Orange. These trials demonstrated many implementations of multi-tier smart contracts, be they frictionless contracting for roaming charges, disputes around call detail records, fraud prevention, wholesale minute sales between telco and mobile providers and more.
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