The Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) is pumping $5 million into Abra, a crypto financial services app, in its largest enterprise investment to date.
Announced Wednesday, the capital allocation precedes Abra's integration with the Stellar blockchain. The crypto wallet and investments app's growing list of financial services are set to shift onto Stellar in a partnership both entities say will bolster network development.
Since Abra's 2014 launch as a bitcoin remittances mobile app, the San Francisco-based firm has steadily added more coins, crypto services – and attracted more venture funding – as its team staked financial links around the world. It now allows fractional investments in exchange traded funds, added support for thousands of U.S. banks, and cash-to-crypto transactions in the Philippines, among other services.
Previous venture rounds garnered Abra in excess of $40 million. Now, after the $5 million investment from Stellar's non-profit SDF, Abra CEO Bill Barhydt said his 16-person team will leverage Stellar's "ability to use traditional banking infrastructure" as it builds yet more banking tools.
"Our enterprise investment fund is about building long term success on the Stellar network," SDF chief Denelle Dixon told CoinDesk. She said the $5 million investment "will bring value to the network with Abra’s market-established next generation financial technology platform plus its expanding portfolio of financial services."
Those services are slightly more restricted in the U.S because of what Abra called “regulatory uncertainty.” But the global firm – Abra operates in 155 countries – is developing tools for foreign markets as well as the US. Dixon said she's ready to bring Stellar along for the ride.
"They have exciting products in the pipeline that they’ll be announcing as they become available and we believe these products, and their target markets, will enable financial services for users around the world, regardless of currency or location," Dixon said.
Developers are also in Stellar’s mind with the Abra integration and investment. SDF founder Jed McCabe said the partnership adds “a compelling tool” that will spur the creation of “new business models” in the Stellar community.
SDF previously invested $715,000 worth of its lumens (XLM) token in the mobile security token platform DSTOQ.
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