Digital currency outfit Ripple Labs has closed a $28 million Series A funding round that includes IDG Capital Partners and the venture arms of CME Group and global data storage company Seagate Technology.
Ripple is bidding to work with international banks to rewire the international money transfer business through the fast and frictionless exchange of its digital currency tokens in exchange for fiat currency, effectively upending traditional banking payments channels by creating a fiction-free standard for instantaneous funds transfers.
“Our mission is to modernise decades-old payments infrastructure with IP-based technology so value moves around the world as freely, easily, securely and transparently as information on the web today,” says Ripple Labs CEO and co-founder Chris Larsen. “Financial institutions, market makers and corporations are laying the foundation for this Internet of Value, contributing and providing liquidity for global payments. With investors like CME Group and Seagate joining the fold, we’re well positioned to accelerate adoption amongst these key customers.”
He says the mix of traditional venture funds and strategic investors reflect Ripple Labs’ focus on not only banking, but also market making and new corporate treasury use cases around the globe.
Dave Morton, SVP, finance and treasury, Seagate, says the firm has a working insight into the frictions and pain points in international funds transfers through its global treasury operation.
“With its real-time settlement capabilities, we recognise the opportunity for Ripple to reduce money transfer costs, create transparency, and increase working capital in corporate treasury use cases," he says. "Banking and corporate applications are just the tip of the iceberg for a technology like Ripple, and we’re excited to support the team’s pursuit of those opportunities.”
For CME, the investment recognisies the potential of distributed ledgers to transform the workings of traditional financial markets. Rumi Morales, executive director at the Exchange's strategic investment fund, says: “Ripple is transforming global settlement architecture, and its momentum in payments will give way to an expanding portfolio of use cases in the financial markets. Joining this funding round is another example of how we are investing in technologies that impact our industry.”