OpenCoin announced that it has closed an angel round of funding from Andreessen Horowitz, FF Angel IV, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Vast Ventures, and Bitcoin Opportunity Fund, an investment vehicle for Bitcoins and Bitcoin-related companies.
The investment will be used to expand the Ripple protocol, a virtual currency and payments system that makes it fast, easy and essentially free for anyone in the world to trade any amount of money in any currency.
OpenCoin is the company developing the Ripple protocol. Ripple is a distributed open source payments system and its native math-based virtual currency is called ripples (XRP). Ripple enables free payments to merchants, consumers and developers; the ability to pay in any currency; no chargebacks; and instant global payments. Ripple can accommodate any currency, including dollars, yen, euros, and even Bitcoin, making it the world's first distributed currency exchange. Ripple is currently in beta.
OpenCoin is led by financial technology pioneer Chris Larsen (E-LOAN, Prosper) and veteran developer Jed McCaleb (eDonkey, Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox) along with a team of well-known developers, advisors and investors behind some of the world's leading technology companies.
"We believe that Ripple will change the way the world thinks about and uses currency through universal access to a trusted, transparent and easy to understand multi-currency financial tool," said OpenCoin CEO Chris Larsen. "We are excited to welcome these visionary investors and will use the funds to grow our team and accelerate the launch of Ripple."
"Our world has moved into a digital era, and it is time that we embrace a digital currency that can accommodate today's global commerce needs while laying the groundwork for future evolution," added OpenCoin CTO Jed McCaleb. "Now, wherever there is internet, there is Ripple. The future is here."