Professional services firm Deloitte has invested in blockchain startup SETL.
The funding represents the first time the professional services firm has publicly invested in a blockchain startup, a Deloitte representative confirmed, though he declined to disclose the amount when reached.
SETL, which is based in London, is one of a number of startups worldwide looking to apply the tech to payment and settlement, and it recently became part of a regulatory sandbox initiative launched by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority.
The funding comes less than a month after the two firms announced the development of a contactless payment card for Metro Bank that uses blockchain tech to settle transactions. As reported at the time, the project is expected to reach commercial production in 2017.
To date, Deloitte has partnered with a range of startups in the space to develop blockchain prototypes – work that representatives from the firm say is aimed at offering new kinds of services to its global client base.
David Myers, head of capital markets for Deloitte, said of the funding:
"Blockchain has the ability to transform the industry, and we have been investing heavily in real-world applications, such as identity management, cross-border payments, loyalty, trade finance and a number of others. By harnessing the capabilities of SETL's blockchain, we can provide our clients with even more practical and transformational solutions."
According to SETL, the investment came after a year of collaboration between the two companies.
"We have been working with the firm over the past 12 months, and today's announcement demonstrates Deloitte's ongoing commitment to engage with our platform," said CEO Peter Randall.
"Together, we have the opportunity to offer a unique blockchain service to a range of financial services companies."
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