Disruptive digital solutions is rewiring the DNA of Banking

By Kennedy Mubita, Africa Head, SC Ventures.

Imagine a bank whose customers can tap on a wearable device to make a payment, regularly receive updates on changes they could make to their investment portfolio through AI-generated insights. A bank that enables its customer to own their data through the application of blockchain technology and share it with lenders as a validated credit history when applying for a loan anywhere; that bank is likely to remain fully operational for the long term.

According to a PWC global CEO survey, 70% of financial services leaders stated that the speed of technological change is one of their biggest concerns. Clients demand more convenience and customization from their banks, delivered through technology-driven innovation. This trend will accelerate as other industries digitize, allowing microservices to be monetized. New technologies are tooling up non-traditional players such as Neobanks, mobile network operators, e-commerce platforms, and supermarkets with the means to tokenize exchange and intermediate supply chains exclusive of traditional banks. These new entrants in the financial sector are a competitive threat to conventional regulated players. For banks to survive and win in this new paradigm, they will need to adopt technology-driven business models; they must develop an internal culture that is tech-minded, encourage idea generation and execution across all departments. But change doesn’t happen in a vacuum. For impactful transformation, banks will need to involve their clients, employees, and communities to build solutions that meet evolving needs across a broad social spectrum.

Collaboration is a crucial ingredient

Digital transformation can only be optimal through a collaborative effort by partnerships with the clients, the Fintech community, regulators, service providers, and other financial services providers applying digital tools to meet their financial goals. Hence, we see traditional banks partnering with FinTechs, MNO’s, and digital marketplaces by design or necessary survival. These alliances are symbiotic in that the Fintechs see three evolving challenges. First, as they build new digital business models, their activities are becoming economically significant; hence the Central Bank, other regulators, and Governments are getting concerned about potential downside credit and systemic risks. Their days of minimal or no regulatory oversight are coming to an end. Secondly, traditional banks are not sitting back and are beginning to incorporate digital solutions in their processes and strategies. Thirdly, at scale, traditional banks still dominate the sovereign, corporate finance, and long-term lending markets.

On the other hand, while banks lack agility and sufficient qualified and digitally literate managers, they have trusted compliance capabilities. They are accustomed to the regulatory minefield and can help FinTechs navigate that space. Partnerships with banks lend credibility to the Ventures they participate, and in so doing, there is a reverse transfer of skills from the banks to FinTechs. Banks can “stand in the gap” between Regulators and FinTechs interpreting the use of new technologies to address regulatory concerns. For instance, Financial institutions can address the issue around authenticating a person’s human identity when opening an account through the internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI). These technologies use various metrics, including location services, user image movement, facial recognition, and temperature checks, to determine whether the person operating the device is an actual human.

Standard Chartered recognizes that technology-driven enablement and partnerships can facilitate the resolution of challenges facing various sectors. For example, small and medium-sized enterprises require access to finance, markets, and simple digital business efficiency tools. Guided by this, SC Ventures, a Standard Chartered business unit, was set up to promote innovation, invest in disruptive financial technology, and explore alternative business models. The business unit provides a platform for collaboration with Fintech, clients, and partners across our markets, connecting them to staff and SCB departments as appropriate.

In Africa, we leverage digital capabilities to resolve social challenges and accelerate economic growth for different market segments. For instance, in Kenya, SC Ventures is currently piloting a digitized and automated water infrastructure system for a water and sanitation company. The Internet of Things-enabled smart water meter solution will reduce leakages, improve revenue collection, provide a platform for remote connections management while aiding in reducing operations and maintenance costs.

SC Ventures at Standard chartered is committed to working with local and global financial technology players who are innovating and developing curated products for these underserved or unbanked market segments that were erstwhile, not reachable due to lack of infrastructure and digital platform.

The community of stakeholders in financial services sectors and other industry verticals enabled by the 3rd and 4th industrial revolution technologies creates a global data lake that will be a massive enabler of innovation in the financial services sector. By gaining API access to various data sources, banks can create customized solutions for different clients across the region. Digital access will minimize direct contact with banks. Soon, data portability, possibly using distributed ledger technology (DLT) through data banks, will allow customers to use their data as an asset by being part of a community or use it to receive bespoke services.

The future of finance is commoditized services on a network of data connected to value; this enabled by ever-increasing research and technology advancements such as 5G and quantum computing. These tools will vastly change the financial ecosystem, and banks that evolve quickly will be better positioned not only to survive but to thrive.

Source: CNBC Africa


We made a strategic investment in Secret Double Octopus

Standard Chartered backs passwordless tech startup Secret Double Octopus

LONDON (Reuters) – Standard Chartered Plc’s venture capital arm SC Ventures has made a strategic investment in Secret Double Octopus, a Tel Aviv-based startup providing authentication technology that removes the need for passwords, the companies said on Thursday.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Secret Double Octopus, which already counts Sony Financial Ventures and Japanese telecoms provider KDDI as investors, said it will use the funding to grow the business.

The startup helps large enterprises replace passwords used by employees to log into company systems with passwordless multi-factor authentication. It says its technology can help make systems more secure, while cutting down on the large costs associated with managing passwords.

“On average an enterprise user forgets his password three times a year,” said Raz Rafaeli, co-founder and chief executive of Secret Double Octopus. “The cost of password reset is $25 dollars at a minimum.”

That could amount to millions of dollars annually for companies with thousands of employees, he added.

The technology could also be deployed to remove passwords in customer facing systems, Rafaeli said.

Standard Chartered’s involvement comes as banks and other financial institutions continue to ramp up their investments in cyber security, as they seek to protect their organisations and customers from a multitude of online threats.

Financial institutions spent about $2,700 on average per full-time employee on cybersecurity in 2020, up from about $2,300 last year, according to a recent study by Deloitte. That represented 10.9% of their overall IT budget, up from 10.1% in 2019.

Source: Reuters

Group Backed by ING Bank, Fidelity and Standard Chartered Releases Crypto AML Tools

The Travel Rule Protocol (TRP), a working group favored by banks and traditional financial institutions and focused on bringing crypto in line with global anti-money laundering (AML) standards, has released the first version of its application programming interface (API).

Announced Thursday, the 25-member TRP working group, which includes Standard Chartered, ING Bank and Fidelity Digital Assets, has published the TRP API version 1.0.0.

The product aims to offer a straightforward way for firms to swap identification data about the originators and beneficiaries of crypto transactions, as per the requirements of global AML watchdog the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The headache of sharing personally identifiable information between virtual asset service providers (VASPs) has engendered a range of technical solutions from individual crypto firms and consortia dotted around the world. The TRP working group is the first to include large retail banks among its founding members, however.

“The impetus for the TRP API was a desire by the working group to ensure an easy path to Travel Rule compliance, as well as communications standardization and interoperability for VASPs around the world,” Maxime de Guillebon of SC Ventures, Standard Chartered’s innovation unit, said in a statement. “Our API allows organizations to do this as they mature, rather than attempting to integrate a number of already existing complex solutions during critical periods of time.”

How TRP works
The TRP release uses two simple RESTful APIs, designed for querying address ownership and sending required originator and beneficiary information about digital asset transfers.

The TRP API release builds on the widely-adopted InterVASP Messaging Standard (IVMS-101), said BC Group CEO Hugh Madden. (The TRP working group is chaired by Hong-Kong-based BC Group and its institutional crypto-focused subsidiary, OSL.)

The IVMS-101 project, which is also a founding member of TRP, came up with a standard data format for the payload of Travel Rule messages. This innovation harmonized how information like date of birth, for example, is written in order to avoid data-field and formatting wrinkles.

“The TRP working group and API is about how you allow VASPs to share that [IVMS-101] data,” said Madden. “A RESTful API is the world standard for integrating business systems. It’s lightweight, well understood, and very interoperable. There’s no need to join any expensive industry associations or invest in vendor solutions, and it’s not an overly complicated technical implementation.”

Travel Rule implementation time

Travel Rule solutions coming to market comprise a range of approaches. Some solutions involve heroic attempts to preserve decentralization as much as possible while constructing global directories of VASPs, while others are focused on the tricky business of VASP discovery; in other words, flagging who is on the other end of a transaction and whether they can be trusted with customer data.

Madden said it makes sense to break things down into discovery type protocols and payload delivery systems. The work the TRP is doing, he said, is not so concerned with the discovery part, and rather concentrates on the process by which firms can compliantly deliver the information payload.

“The TRP focus doesn’t assume large-scale auto-discovery – although I know some groups are working on doing advanced auto-discovery, delivered transparently with nice user experience,” said Madden. “Not everyone is taking the same approach, but some TRP members are just intending to ask the user, before withdrawal goes out, which VASP are you sending it to. Then there’s no need for auto-discovery.”

This will obviously impact user experience, Madden said, “but once you know which VASP it is, and if the respective compliance teams are happy to share the data with the corresponding VASP, the TRP is about actually sharing that data in a secure way.”

Swelling ranks
It’s not surprising the TRP’s membership is growing, given the financial clout of its founding team. A spokesman for the working group said that while the names of new joiners could not be disclosed without their permission, it included four large exchanges and a host of large tech firms.

What can be revealed, however, is the new TRP API is being integrated by the consortium of financial institutions behind Pyctor, a digital-asset custody solution invited into this year’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) sandbox cohort.

Led by ING Bank, Pyctor includes ABN AMRO, BNP Paribas Securities Services, Citi, Invesco, Société Générale, State Street and UBS.

“We’re excited for the future as TRP is scalable in the financial sector while maximizing interoperability with other emerging Travel Rule solutions,” Hervé Francois, blockchain initiative lead at ING bank and Pyctor CEO, said in a statement. “We are implementing the TRP protocol in Pyctor and looking forward to driving the ecosystem adoption even further.”

Source: Coindesk

nexus 2nd partnership with Sociolla

nexus has established partnership with beauty and personal care e-commerce platform Sociolla to introduce financial products to their users

Jakarta – Standard Chartered Bank announced its partnership with Sociolla through nexus, its “Banking as a Service” solution. In line with the Bank’s vision to enable convenient access to financial services for tech-savvy consumers across its market, the partnership will enable Sociolla to offer financial products, like savings accounts, loans and credit cards that are powered by nexus in late 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.

This is the second partnership which nexus has forged in Indonesia, giving Standard Chartered Bank the opportunity to reach the unbanked and expand its customer base in the world’s 4th most populous country, where the e-commerce adoption rate is the highest in the world1.

With consumer behaviour shifting in the wake of Covid-19, more Indonesians are migrating online to purchase consumer goods on e-commerce platforms2. The pandemic has also revealed the need to accelerate digitisation efforts in banking, through which Standard Chartered Bank aims to increase financial inclusion.

Andrew Chia, Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Bank Indonesia, said: “We are excited to announce our partnership with Sociolla, Indonesia’s leading beauty and personal care e-commerce platform. This second partnership with an e-commerce platform reaffirms Standard Chartered Bank’s commitment to grow our footprint locally. We believe the future of banking is digital, and nexus is poised to leverage strategic partnerships that enable greater financial access for Indonesians.”

This partnership is in line with Sociolla’s ambition to transform the beauty industry through technology. Co-Founder and President Director of Social Bella (parent company of Sociolla), Christopher Madiam said: “We are truly excited in being the first beauty-tech company that is collaborating with Standard Chartered Bank to provide beauty enthusiasts with this innovative banking solution.

At Sociolla, we are proud of our tech-led capabilities in providing customers with a holistic and unique beauty experience that truly meets our customers’ needs. The banking service is an important added value to continuously complement our integrated beauty ecosystem, especially now that we have been noticing a growing demand from our customers for trusted digital payment.”

Furthermore, digital payment has a huge role in promoting Indonesia’s digital economy. With the huge volume of beauty and personal care products being bought online, it is imperative that the industry caters to adapt with the customers’ rising adoption of digital payment methods. Christopher adds: “As e-commerce continues to develop a bigger presence among Indonesian beauty enthusiasts, we hope to expand our customer base through a more convenient and comfortable online purchasing experience within our ecosystem.”

Announced in March this year, nexus was incubated at SC Ventures, Standard Chartered’s innovation, fintech investment and ventures arm3. Through this “Banking as a Service” solution, digital platforms and ecosystems like e-commerce, social media or ride hailing companies, will be able to offer loans, credit cards and savings accounts co-created with the bank to their customers under their own brand name. The bank intends to further roll out the service to markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East with the right regulatory frameworks and established digital platforms.

Standard Chartered has been actively experimenting with new business models to meet the evolving needs of its clients. Most recently, the Bank announced the official launch of Mox, its new virtual bank created in partnership with PCCW, HKT and Trip.com, to the general public in Hong Kong. It also set up a joint venture with Assembly Payments this February to develop and deliver next generation payment solutions and has also built a digital open platform, Solv, to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in India and other markets grow by providing access to financial and business services.

1 We Are Social: Digital 2020: 3.8 Billion People Use Social Media, 30 Jan 2020
2 McKinsey & Company: Optimistic, digital, generous: COVID-19’s impact on Indonesian consumer sentiment, 9 July 2020
3 nexus by Standard Chartered: Introducing nexus by Standard Chartered, 2020

Source: sc.com

Our investment in vArmour, a leading provider of Application Relationship Management

Application Relationship Management Company Expands Global Footprint with Strategic Investment Partner

Standard Chartered’s SC Ventures will support vArmour’s continued global expansion

vArmour, the leading provider of Application Relationship Management, today announced that SC Ventures, the innovation, fintech investment and ventures unit of international banking group, Standard Chartered, is investing in vArmour as a strategic partner to support the technology company’s growth on a global scale.

The onset of a global pandemic has brought new challenges, as businesses are forced to address budget restrictions and get more value out of their existing infrastructure to maximize the services they already have, and get more value out of their cloud environments. A global workforce adds a new layer of complexity to an already complicated environment of legacy and new infrastructure, resulting in applications and data spanning across hybrid environments which are difficult to track and secure.

vArmour allows businesses to control operational and cyber risk across any platform enterprise-wide. As businesses continue to tackle the challenges of digital transformation, this deepened visibility into every environment means businesses can map relationships across their entire dynamic enterprise in one view.

Standard Chartered’s cybersecurity team is deploying vArmour to improve its security across critical applications.

“One of the biggest priorities in banking today is the protection of applications and data against cybersecurity threats,” said Alex Manson, Global Head of SC Ventures.

“vArmour’s approach to managing the relationships between applications across banks’ infrastructure is critical to the management of cyber risks in today’s cloud-first digital world. Our investment in vArmour will enable us to participate in their growth as we support their expansion in markets across the globe.”

“Businesses are looking for a simplified way to understand the relationships between their applications on both a small and large scale,” said Tim Eades, CEO at vArmour.

“With vArmour, businesses can visualize and control every relationship, and every application, in every environment in order to reduce operational risk, increase application resiliency, and secure hybrid clouds.”

Source: vArmour Press Release

We’ve officially launched a new virtual bank Mox in Hong Kong

Mox is a new virtual bank created by Standard Chartered in partnership with PCCW, HKT and Trip.com, which provides its suite of retail banking services entirely digitally over its app. With Mox, opening an account is fast, secure and free. Within minutes, customers can enjoy a whole new way of smarter banking, saving and spending. Mox is also taking the lead in launching Asia’s first all-in-one numberless bank card, further enhancing privacy and security for customers.

Mox brings the next-generation of banking to Hong Kong through a cloud-based bank built from the ground up with resilient infrastructure and rapid, cost-efficient development cycles. It also underscores Standard Chartered’s continued momentum in digitising its Retail Banking business and building strong strategic collaborations in response to the changing digital habits of clients across its markets.

Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive, Standard Chartered PLC, said:

“The launch of Mox demonstrates the pace at which Standard Chartered is executing and moving on its strategic objectives, innovating and disrupting across our markets through digitisation.”

He added: “We’re now combining our heritage as the oldest note issuing bank in Hong Kong with being the newest virtual bank in the city, providing customers with an even broader array of banking options to meet their different needs, preferences and lifestyles.”

Deniz Güven, CEO of Mox, said:

“After two years of hard work, we are so excited to officially unveil Mox – a bank that is built by and for Hong Kong people who want banking to be truly personalised and digital. We hope to take Standard Chartered’s commitment to customer experience, innovation and financial inclusion to the next level.”

Please click here to also read Mox’s launch press release for full details or visit mox.com.

Source: sc.com

Co-CEOs to lead Assembly

Fast-growing fintech Assembly Payments has appointed Tim Dickinson and Rimal Gokani as its new co-CEOs, following the company’s joint venture with global bank Standard Chartered.

Dickinson takes on the role after working as Assembly Payments’ General Manager for almost a year, and three years in total scaling Assembly from start-up to growth company.

Gokani joins Assembly from SC Ventures, Standard Chartered’s innovation and venture arm, to lead the business on its global growth trajectory. He has two decades of international experience working in both finance and technology for Deutsche Bank, The London Stock Exchange and The New York Stock Exchange.

Co-founder and former CEO, Simon Lee will take a position on Assembly Payments’ board of directors.

He told The Australian he’s joining other highly experienced individuals from major financial institutions and technology businesses to drive the company’s growth and its payment solutions.

This transition is a result of almost a year’s worth of planning and structuring. It’s exciting to finally be able to announce this shift to the market and show that we’re ready for the next stage of our growth,” said Tim Dickinson, co-CEO of Assembly Payments.

“There has never been a greater need for global timely and effective payment technology. The speed and fluidity of payments could be the difference in dampening the blow of the ongoing COVID-19 led crisis.”

“Our joint venture with Standard Chartered puts Assembly in a unique position to roll out its payment technology globally at an expedited rate across Asia and Europe” said Rimal Gokani, Co-CEO of Assembly Payments.

“This is an exciting time for the payment technology industry and with its great team, agile technology and years of industry experience through the partnership Assembly has all the right ingredients to take the global payments world by storm.“

Co-founder and former CEO of Assembly Payments, Simon Lee added: “After six years of running at 100 per cent it is now time to slow down a little. Handing the baton to Tim and Rimal was an easy decision as they are great strategic operators. I’m grateful to see Assembly in their safe hands. “Stepping back as a founder is always hard, but, together with the board I will continue to give my support when needed, as they take Assembly from being one of Australia’s most prominent fintechs to a globalised business.”

Assembly Payments has made three new board appointments.

Rampersand’s Paul Naphtali will now serve on Assembly’s board, assuming this role in addition to his current position as managing partner at Rampersand. SC Ventures‘ Gautam Jain and Standard Chartered Bank executive David Howes are also joining the company’s board.

Source: The Australian

Standard Chartered to Launch Institutional Crypto Custody Solution

Standard Chartered’s venture and innovation arm has been working on a crypto custody offering for the institutional market and the first pilot could launch later this year.

Alex Manson, the head of SC Ventures, confirmed to CoinDesk Monday the firm is building what he claimed would become one of the most-secure crypto custody solutions on the market.

Details remain thin on the ground, but Manson said that as many as 20 institutions have expressed interest in the custodial solution. Although it will be based in the U.K., it will be open to clients from around the world. As well as assets such as bitcoin, SC Ventures is looking at also making the solution suitable for security tokens.

According to Manson, institutional adoption has been hindered by a lack of proper custodial offerings. Initially, SC Ventures had been looking at creating a market service, but realized it had to go a couple of steps back as many wouldn’t touch the digital asset space “with a flagpole” until they had ready access to an institutional-grade storage solution.

Custodial offerings currently on the market, Manson said, don’t have the proper security required for clients to store millions of dollars in digital assets. Many also lack function segregation, meaning the custody business isn’t separated from other ventures, he added.

By providing the fundamental market infrastructure, Manson said that SC Ventures saw an opportunity to kick-start the institutional adoption of cryptocurrencies.

“If digital assets more broadly are here to stay as an asset class, then you will need the infrastructure to keep them safe,” Manson said.

Based in Singapore, SC Ventures is the innovations platform for British bank Standard Chartered. Part of its role is to help create new businesses and revenue streams for the wider banking group. As well as the custody solution, the venture arm is working on bringing another nine (non-crypto-related) projects to market.

Just last week, SC Ventures participated in the oversubscribed Series A for market infrastructure provider, Metaco. At the time, Manson said in a statement that the investment would complement its own custodial initiative, which has not yet been publicly named. Talking to CoinDesk, he elaborated, saying Metaco would be one of the key technology providers.

Standard Chartered has long expressed an interest in crypto custodial solutions. Margaret Harwood-Jones, the bank’s global head of securities services, told trade publication Global Custodian that it was something the group was investigating in November 2018.

SC Ventures is still open to feedback from prospective clients about possible features, as well as the assets they would like to see supported.
Manson said the first pilot for the custodial solution could launch sometime later this year.


Standard Chartered and Universities Space Research Association join forces on Quantum Computing

Standard Chartered Bank and Universities Space Research Association (USRA) have signed a Collaborative Research Agreement to partner on quantum computing research and developing quantum computing applications.

In finance, the most promising use cases with real-world applications include quantum machine learning models (generating synthetic data and data anonymisation) and discriminative models (building strong classifiers and predictors) with multiple potential uses such as credit scoring and generating trading signals. As quantum computing technology matures, clients should benefit from higher quality services such as faster execution, better risk management and the development of new financial products.

Kahina Van Dyke, Global Head of Digital Channels and Client Data Analytics at Standard Chartered, said: “Similar to other major technological advancements, quantum computing is set to bring widespread benefits as well as disrupt many existing business processes. This is why it’s important for companies to future-proof themselves by adopting this new technology from an early stage. The partnership with USRA gives us access to world-class academic researchers and provides us with a unique opportunity to explore a wide range of models and algorithms with the potential to establish quantum advantage for the real-world use cases.”

Bernie Seery, Senior VP of Technology at USRA noted that “This partnership with the private sector enables a diversity of research through a competitively selected portfolio of quantum computing research projects involving academic institutions and non-profits, growing an ecosystem for quantum artificial intelligence that has already involved over 150 researchers from more than 40 organizations that produced over 50 peer-reviewed publications over the last seven years.”

Alex Manson, Global Head of SC Ventures, Standard Chartered’s innovation, fintech investment and ventures arm, stated:

“The world is currently in the process of identifying commercial use cases where quantum computer capabilities will surpass classical computers. We have a conviction that some of these use cases will transform the way we manage risks in financial services, for example by simulating portfolios and exponentially speeding up the generation of market data. We will work with USRA to identify such use cases in financial services, with a view to implementing them within our bank, as well as potentially offering this service to other market participants over time.”

Mark Johnson, Vice President, Processor Design, Development and Quantum Products at D-Wave said: “Quantum computing research and development are poised to have a profound impact on the industries responsible for solving today’s most complex problems. That’s why researchers and businesses alike are looking to quantum computing today to start demonstrating tangible value. We’re proud to work with USRA and Standard Chartered Bank as they improve global access to quantum systems and undertake essential research and development.”

At USRA’s Research Institute for Advanced Computer Science, Dr. Davide Venturelli, Associate Director for Quantum Computing, notes that quantum annealing is implementing a powerful approach to computing, featuring unique advantages with respect to other traditional and novel approaches, that should be studied, theoretically and experimentally, to advance the state of art of computing technologies for the benefit of nearly all disciplines.

Standard Chartered’s team, led by Dr. Alexei Kondratyev, Global Head of Data Science and Innovation, and USRA have collaborated in quantum computing research since 2017. An earlier success in investigating the quantum annealing approach to computational problems in portfolio optimisation use cases led to this strategic partnership, where USRA will continue to support fundamental academic research in quantum physics and artificial intelligence and Standard Chartered will focus on future commercial applications.

In 2012, USRA partnered with NASA to found the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (QuAIL): the space agency’s hub to evaluate the near-term impact of quantum technologies. With QuAIL, the USRA team has investigated the physics, the engineering and the performance of multiple generations of quantum annealing processors built by D-Wave Systems. It has also participated in U.S. government research programs that looked into application of quantum annealing for combinatorial optimization, aviation, earth science and machine learning. NASA Ames Research Center is currently hosting a D-Wave 2000Q annealing system, thanks to the support of this partnership.

Standard Chartered and USRA intend to develop this initial collaboration beyond quantum annealing to all unconventional computing systems that could provide an advantage to applications of interest, such as gate-model noisy-intermediate scale quantum (NISQ) processors and Coherent Ising machines.

Source: PR Newsire

Metaco partnership

We are pleased to partner and invest in METACO, as a leading provider of security-critical digital asset infrastructure

The last 12 months have been a riveting time at METACO. Our company has reached major milestones – forming new exciting partnerships and continued growth in providing infrastructure for financial institutions to securely manage digital assets.

The last 12 months have been a riveting time at METACO. Our company has reached major milestones – forming new exciting partnerships and continued growth in providing infrastructure for financial institutions to securely manage digital assets.

Today, we enter the next pivotal period in our global expansion. We have successfully raised $17 million in our Series A funding round this July. In a turbulent economic climate, we are proud to have an oversubscribed round, with double the demand of our initial target. This round represents continued support from existing investors combined with significant interest from new strategic partners in security technology, central bank infrastructure, Swiss and global banks, and venture firms focused on financial technology.

Metaco partnership

Giesecke+Devrient, the German-based security technology company and one of the main central bank infrastructure partners, led the round. Standard Chartered Bank, Zürcher Kantonalbank, and venture capital firm Investiere joined the round, which also saw all existing strategic shareholders, Swisscom, SICPA, Avaloq Ventures, and Swiss Post increase their commitments.

Our ability to expand notable Swiss strategic partnerships to new global partnerships in this round, is a significant endorsement of our growth internationally, as well as a demonstration of rising institutional interest in digital assets.

Our ability to expand notable Swiss strategic partnerships to new global partnerships in this round, is a significant endorsement of our growth internationally, as well as a demonstration of rising institutional interest in digital assets.

Launched in 2018, our institutional operating system for digital assets, SILO, enables large financial institutions to securely integrate cryptocurrencies, tokens, and distributed ledger use cases into their core infrastructure. Its unique framework for digital asset custody, transaction management, trading, and tokenization has made it the leading choice for banks and exchanges. METACO has significant Tier 1 and Tier 2 bank implementations including FINMA, BaFin, Banco de España, ECB, and MAS regulated banks and exchanges.

Commenting on the raise, Adrien Treccani, CEO and Founder of METACO, said,

“I am really proud of our team and this funding round will push us to new heights. METACO not only secured an impressive round of funding, but also has a number of significant partnerships and integrations coming down the pipeline. I look forward to working with our new shareholders and encourage companies to get in touch to explore possible synergies.”

The Series A funding will fuel the next phase in our growth in sales, product, and partnerships. We will be broadening our presence in the US, South East Asia, and Western Europe. Research and development are at the core of our business strategy, so we will increase investment in R&D to cement our position as the leader in digital asset infrastructure. We will also be expanding our product and addressable market with the launch of a fully managed, secure, and cloud-based offering, SILO, that will open up the solution to the entire institutional market.

Assaf Shamia, Investment Director at Giesecke+Devrient, said,

“The tokenization narrative is gaining momentum among regulators and central banks, encompassing a broad spectrum of promising innovations ranging from digital currencies to national identities. Yet tokenized assets require a trusted, secure, and scalable solution to handle the safeguarding of private keys. Following extensive market research, we identified METACO as the dominant player in its field. This large funding round, completed during a period of notable market uncertainty, is a significant milestone for METACO and will allow the company to accelerate its global growth and anchor its position as a category leader in the crypto-custody market.”

Alex Manson, Global Head of SC Ventures, the innovation, fintech investment and venture arm of Standard Chartered, added,

“We believe that digital assets are here to stay as an asset class. However, the infrastructure is still very nascent. We are developing a venture to meet the demands of institutional investors for an end-to-end institutional grade custodian of digital assets, which meets regulatory standards. We are pleased to partner and invest in METACO, as a leading provider of security-critical digital asset infrastructure, which will provide both ease of use and uncompromising security.”

This round represents the next important step in realizing our vision, ensuring that we continue to make progress in our mission to transform the financial services industry.

Source: PR Newswire