Andreessen Horowitz's cryptocurrency fund A16z Crypto and venture capital firm Polychain Capital have invested $25 million in cryptocurrency payments startup Celo.
Celo announced Tuesday that the two investors have purchased $15 million and $10 million in the project's Celo Gold tokens, respectively.
The token-based funding effort also saw participation from “several other leading institutions” from across the world, Celo said, with the amounts not being disclosed.
Celo's protocol is designed to be mobile-friendly and "ultralight," allowing funds to be sent to cellphone numbers. The Celo Gold token it describes as a "deflationary" cryptocurrency that cuts down on price volatility. The startup also offers another token, the Celo Dollar, which is a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar.
On the business level, it aims to enable easier remittances, cash-transfer programs and micropayments through its open-source platform, taking an initial focus on helping unbanked or underbanked people.
The firm said:
In Tuesday's announcement, the firm added that it now has over 40 contributors to the project internationally, drawing expertise from the World Bank Group and the UN; tech firms like Google, Microsoft and Apple; and financial companies such as PayPal and Morgan Stanley. Academia is involved too, and individuals at MIT, Stanford, Harvard and Berkeley are also assisting.
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