Ripple, the Google-backed blockchain startup announced on Tuesday that they have raised $55 million in the second-round funding, after which its total capital reached around $93 million. The funding makes Ripple one of the best capitalized starups in the blockchain industry. The San Francisco-based company aims to make sending payments around the world easier, and uses blockchain to settle financial transactions between big banks.
In the second-round funding, both new and existing investors joined. Existing investors who joined the Series B funding round included Seagate Technology, Venture 51, Banco Santander SA venture fund, and the venture arms of CME Group. New investors involved in the funding included the investment arm of Siam Commercial Bank in Thailand, Standard Charted PLC, Accenture Ventures, SCB Digital Ventures and SBI Holdings.
In addition, according to the company’s announcement, the firm also signed long-term contracts with commercial clients, who planned to integrate Ripple’s technology into their own platforms. Banks who signed the contract included two new investors, Standard Chartered and Siam Commercial Bank; other commercial clients included MBO Financial Group, National Australia Bank, Mizuho Financial Group, Westpac and Shanghai Huarui Bank.
Chris Larsen, the CEO of Ripple said among all of its current clients, ten of them use the service commercially, and others are trying to integrate the service into their own system. The current focus of Ripple is to improve the cross-border transfer, which is expensive and annoying now. Mr. Larsen hopes more of its commercial clients will go live on the platform in 2016, and market their new platform next year.
“2016 has proven to be the year where the most forward-thinking financial institutions are actually using blockchain technologies for payments and settlement rather than as an experiment,” Mr. Larsen said in a statement. He also mentioned in an interview that technology of Ripple also make it possible for bank to link the legers that they use to track payments. “We believe that will be the wiring for the internet of value,” he said.