Five financial services heavyweights have joined in a $30 million funding round for blockchain startup Chain, which is aiming to overturn Wall Street conventions for the issuing and handling of financial securities.
Investors in the round include Visa, Nasdaq, Citi Ventures, Capital One, Fiserv and French telco Orange among others. They are betting big on the expectation that distributed ledger technology can transform the vast back office bureaucracies maintained by banks to handle the processing and recording of all manner of financial transactions.
Nasdaq in June enlisted Chain for its project to use digital ledger technology for the issuance and transfer of private company securities.
At the time, Nasdaq chief Bob Greifeld said: "As blockchain technology continues to redefine not only how the exchange sector operates, but the global financial economy as a whole, Nasdaq aims to be at the center of this watershed development.
Explaining Citi's investment in Chain, Rameek Guptra, MD of the bank's venture arm was no less effusive about the technology's potential: "Blockchain technology represents a fundamental, generational shift for financial services, and Chain’s platform is enabling and accelerating this transformation. We hope to leverage Chain’s platform to rapidly test and develop applications as part of Citi’s multi-faceted blockchain strategy, which has the potential to greatly enhance our customers’ experience well beyond just currencies and payments."
Orange, thanks to its office in Silicon Valley, has also been supporting and working on Blockchain ecosystems with start-ups, including Chain, as well as large corporations through the telco's Chainforce initiative.
Pierre Louette, Orange’s deputy CEO who is also responsible for Orange Digital Ventures says: “We believe in the disruptive potential of the blockchain and becoming a key partner and investor in Chain will help us to learn faster and launch trials around this technology. We are seeking to carve out multiple use cases in our range of businesses to improve our services and propose new ones to our customers”
Chain’s newest partners will also join the company in forming a blockchain Working Group to explore the application of the technology in their markets and take a collaborative approach to building new solutions.