Institutional cryptocurrency infrastructure firm Securrency has closed a $30 million funding round, backed by banking majors U.S. Bank and State Street.
Announced Monday, the Washington, D.C.-based firm’s strategic Series B also included Abu Dhabi Catalyst Partners and WisdomTree Investments, which participated in Securrency’s $17.65 million Series A back in early 2020.
Big financial firms and asset managers have warmed to crypto trading but require some hand holding when it comes to connecting legacy systems to digital assets in a smooth and compliant way.
State Street, for example, recently raised its hand for potential crypto trading involving an infrastructure partner – only to lower it again shortly after the news landed. Other banks including Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs appear to be more open about plans to create crypto-focused wealth funds, for instance.
Securrency Chief Strategy Officer Patrick Campos described his company as a middleware layer that goes over the top of blockchains and legacy systems and then ties them all together using a common compliance framework.
“We offer optionality,” said Campos. “Maybe you like Tezos but you think Ethereum has a bigger community so it’s better to build on. We can create the assets where you need them. So for an institution like State Street, we can connect blockchain systems into their existing systems so that these things just talk to each other.”
Campos said there are Securrency micro-services that a firm can simply connect into by API, but for institutions looking to create workflows around something like collateralized lending, this could involve deploying a white-labeled version of Securrency’s platform.
Midwest and mainstream
U.S. Bank, owned by Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp, the fifth-largest bank in America, is an interesting strategic investor, said Campos, and one whose name you don’t see bandied around too much in relation to crypto.
“If you are talking about connecting crypto to the real world, you can’t get more Midwest mainstream than U.S. Bank,” Campos said. “They are massive yet don’t make a lot of noise in this space. But they’ve got a very clever team and they’re very serious. I think they are the proverbial ‘one to watch.'”
For its part, U.S. Bank wants to be “ahead of the curve when it comes to new products to satisfy our client needs,” according to U.S. Bank executive Hosni Shadid, a former State Street SVP.
“Our investment in Securrency is both a testament to Securrency’s promising technology as well as to the importance of tokenization as a future core technology in the investment servicing industry,” Shadid said in a statement.