Payments Startup Celo Raises $20M From a16z, Electric Capital

Celo offers a blockchain payments platform using customers' cellphone numbers to secure their public keys.

Feb 10, 2021 at 1:21 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:09 p.m. UTC

Mobile-focused blockchain payments startup Celo has raised $20 million from the likes of Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Greenfield One and Electric Capital.

According to a press release on Wednesday, the funding will go towards fleshing out its suite of offerings.

Celo is a proof-of-stake blockchain built on Ethereum, designed to support stablecoins and tokenized assets, while utilizing cellphone numbers to secure a user's public keys.

To date, the startup says it has raised more than $65 million from high-profile industry backers including Polychain Capital, Reid Hoffman, Jack Dorsey, Coinbase Ventures, among others.

"We now have the technology to create a better financial system, a rich ecology of digital assets and products that allow individuals and organizations to ... transact and manage risk,” said Celo co-founder Rene Reinsberg.

Since Celo's initial development in 2017, the project has launched a mainnet, a native token (CELO), a stablecoin (cUSD), a mobile payments app and has been listed on major exchanges including Coinbase and Binance.

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