Italy's Banca Generali has acquired a stake in crypto wallet provider Conio as the lead investor in a $14 million capital raise for the company, which offers custody, negotiation and reporting services currently focusing on bitcoin.
Promising a 30-second account opening process, the Conio Bitcoin Wallet enable users to buy bitcoin with a credit card and transfer their assets through a wire transfer.
The company's founders have a strong pedigree in financial services. Conio Inc. was founded in 2015 in San Francisco by Christian Miccoli, formerly of CheBanca!, ING Direct, and McKinsey, and Vincenzo di Nicola who brings experience from Microsoft and Stanford University, and as the founder of GoPago, who act as co-CEOs of the company. Conio currently serves over 150,000 cryptocurrency portfolios for Italian customers.
The stake-building exercise, completed in December 2020, came ahead of the record surge in the value of bitcoin, which rose above the $35,000 mark at the start of the New Year and today hit a new high of $41,000.
Banca Generali says it intends to offer the Conio wallet to customers as part of its range of wealth management services.
Banca Generali chief executive officer Gian Maria Mossa states: “This is an important industrial partnership both from a technological as well as a management perspective. The agreement with Conio means an expansion of the services offered to our customers and collaborating with an innovation-oriented partner. I would also like to highlight the great attention that Conio pays to security and regulatory aspects, which have been key to the creation of this partnership.”
Christian Miccoli, co-CEO of Conio, adds: “This agreement with Banca Generali is a significant step towards a new era for the whole financial system with more traditional financial institutions opening the way for collaboration between the established and the new players. After ten years of development and industrial stabilisation, cryptocurrencies are now entering into a tangible new phase, debuting on the financial institutions’ range of services.”