Friday , 23 February 2018

Bitcoin wallet Ledger raises $75 Million in Series B funding

Paris-based cryptocurrency and blockchain security firm Ledger has raised €61 million ($75 million) from investors in a Series B round. “The round is one of the largest traditional series B investment into blockchain and cryptocurrency related technologies to date (excluding ICOs),” Ledger said in an announcement today.

The new round was led by the U.K.-headquartered investor Draper Esprit, and also included Draper Venture Network, FirstMark Capital, Cathay Innovation, and Korelya Capital. Existing investors such as CapHorn Invest, GDTRE and Digital Currency Group also participated in the round.

The money will be used to finance Ledger’s expansion both in its global presence and its own team. Hiring, research and development and ramping up operations to further productivity to keep up with demand for its products are all on the checklist.

Founded in 2014, Ledger now has offices in Paris and Vierzon in France and San Francisco, with 82 employees between the two countries. The cryptocurrency startup, which is already profitable, had an operating revenue of €46 million ($56 million) in 2017 in sales between the US, Europe and Asia, up from €600,000 in 2016, Ledger CEO Eric Larcheveque revealed. This year, Ledger’s target is to hit between 3 and 6 million hardware wallets. The startup has sold near a million so far, the chief executive added.

Beyond serving retail bitcoin adopters, Ledger is looking to tap into new revenues from a new clientele – financial institutions. While details are scarce, the ‘Ledger Vault’ will enable the likes of banks, hedge funds and family offices to manage their cryptocurrency assets through a ‘server-based’ architecture.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Ledger’s chief executive added:

“Eventually we’ll be able to put our software on other hardware — that’s a hint at our future roadmap. Ultimately we want to be a technology giant securing bitcoin and blockchain infrastructure.”

Underlining the need for “bullet-proof” security, managing director at investor FirstMark Capital Matt Turck stated:

“While the price of individual digital currencies and tokens may be subject to volatility, the general crypto and blockchain space has emerged as a fundamental new paradigm that will only continue to increase in importance. Considering the massive amounts of money flowing into the ecosystem, there is no more pressing need at this stage than a bullet-proof security infrastructure.”

Ledger’s Series B follows an early round of seed funding in 2015, raising €1.3 million at the time. In April 2017, Ledger announced the closure of a $7 million Series A. In total, the cryptocurrency startup has raised over $85 million since its founding in 2014.

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