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Report: Blythe Masters' Blockchain Startup Struggles to Close Funding

| Published on December 29, 2015 at 14:11 BST
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Digital Asset Holdings, the startup led by ex-JPMorgan exec Blythe Masters, is apparently having issues closing an inaugural investment round.

Blythe's previous employer JPMorgan Chase & Co has already committed about $7.5m to the undisclosed round, but Digital Asset has been struggling for some time to complete the deal with other investors, according to The New York Times.

Allegedly, major banks including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup have been reluctant to commit to the deal as JP Morgan was "being given better terms than other investors", according to Times sources.

More seriously, perhaps, some potential investors have also expressed doubts about the actual software product offered by Digital Asset. The firm plans to use blockchain technology to cut down settlement and clearing times at incumbent financial firms, but has to date acquired most of its technology through acquisitions.

"The deal would need to improve materially for us to get involved," an anonymous executive at a financial company considering participating in the round told the Times. "It’s not super compelling."

Digital Asset is hoping to raise $35m to $45m in the funding round, which would value the startup at $100m, according to the report, figures that align with those published in a New York Post exclusive earlier this month.

The news is notable as Masters has become something of a figurehead for the fledgling blockchain industry and, since taking on the role of chief executive at Digital Asset in March, is rumoured to have been working to promote blockchain technology within Wall Street institutions.

Launched in early 2015, Digital Asset has been quiet in public until recently, when it announced it was involved in an open-source blockchain project spearheaded by IBM.

According to the publication, Digital Asset representatives have denied allegations in the Times report.

Maze image via Shutterstock

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