Digital currency startup Ripple Labs announced today that it has closed a new $28m Series A funding round.
The company drew support from a mixture of new and existing investors, including the venture arms of US futures and options exchange CME Group and data storage firm Seagate Technology.
Other participants in the round include AME Cloud Ventures, ChinaRock Capital Management, China Growth Capital, Wicklow Capital, Bitcoin Opportunity Corp., Core Innovation Capital, Route 66 Ventures, RRE Ventures, Vast Ventures and Venture 51.
The company said that it planned to use the funds to fuel international expansion efforts, most notably in Asia. In a statement, Ripple Labs CEO Chris Larsen said the new support would also facilitate access to liquidity in the Ripple system, thereby enabling new customers to come onboard, adding:
"With investors like CME Group and Seagate joining the fold, we’re well positioned to accelerate adoption amongst these key customers."
The announcement follows months of speculation that the company was raising a new round of funding. In January, the Wall Street Journal reported that Ripple Labs was seeking as much as $30m in a Series A round. Ripple Labs raised $3.5m in seed funding in 2013.
The funding disclosure comes weeks after Ripple Labs was fined by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) for violations of the US Bank Secrecy Act.
In its announcement, the company highlighted its intention to focus on growth in Asian markets. Notably, Li Feng of IDG Capital Partners will be joining Ripple Labs' board of directors.
“Growing their influence in key regions like Asia will help activate new markets, further accelerating the use of Ripple as a real-time settlement protocol by the world’s leading financial institutions," Feng said in a statement.
Commenting on the deal, Seagate senior vice president of finance and treasury Dave Morton took a more global stance, noting that his company sees the opportunity in supporting global transfer mechanisms that can help reduce friction between parties.
"Banking and corporate applications are just the tip of the iceberg for a technology like Ripple, and we're excited to support the team's pursuit of those opportunities," he noted.
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