South Korean technology giant Samsung has invested 2.6 million euros ($2.9 million) into crypto hardware startup Ledger.
The investment gives the startup a valuation of roughly $290 million, French business magazine Capital reported Wednesday. A spokesperson for Ledger confirmed that Samsung backed the startup, but could not confirm further details. A Samsung representative did not respond to a request for comment by press time.
The news, coinciding with Ledger promoting Pascal Gauthier to CEO, follows previous funding rounds by the company, including a $7 million Series A fund raise in 2017 and a $75 million Series B in 2018. It is unclear whether Samsung’s investment is part of a larger funding round.
Ledger’s previous CEO and co-founder, Éric Larchevêque, confirmed the investment but declined to comment further, Capital reported. On Twitter, Larchevêque seemingly confirmed the news as well, saying in one tweet (translated from French) that “We will always need hardware wallets, but to accompany a revolution crypto based on a personal sovereignty accessible to all, the smartphone will actually play a central role.”
According to his Twitter bio, Larchevêque now serves as Ledger’s executive chairman.
A logical match
Ledger is currently working with various banks and other firms to offer a number of custody options. A custody venture with Japanese bank Nomura is expected to launch by 2020, while the hardware developer is simultaneously collaborating with Hong Kong-licensed Legacy Trust to offer custody services for ethereum-based tokens.
For its part, Samsung recently stormed into the crypto and blockchain space. It recently announced that a forthcoming new line of flagship smartphones – the Galaxy S10 series – will include crypto wallet functionality. And the company is now said to be working on its own unique blockchain based on ethereum.
Indeed, Samsung may one day issue its own token, according to CoinDesk Korea.
Ledger confirmed Samsung’s investment Thursday, saying in a statement:
“We are excited to confirm Samsung Ventures’ investment in Ledger. We believe Samsung Ventures will add value to further enhance our position as a leading provider of best-in-class security solutions as we continue to deliver innovative hardware wallet technology to meet the demands of both today’s and tomorrow’s mobile consumer market.”
UPDATE (25 April, 2019, 15:25 UTC): This article has been updated with a statement from Ledger.
Samsung image via Nemanja Zotovic / Shutterstock