Ant Financial, the financial affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has participated in a $10 million Series A round for QEDIT, an Israeli blockchain privacy solutions firm that develops zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) technology. The news was reported by Israeli daily business newspaper Calcalist on May 7.
The Series A was reportedly led by MizMaa Ventures, and its closing was announced alongside partnerships with Ant Financial, major software firm VMWare and RGAX, a subsidiary of Reinsurance Group of America.
Both latter firms also participated in the financing round, alongside Meron Capital, venture capital firm Jovono, Collider Ventures and Target Global.
The partnerships will reportedly see the companies cooperate with QEDIT to review their privacy products and implement ZKP technology at a corporate level.
As Calcalist notes, QEDIT develops privacy solutions for enterprise blockchains that are compatible with data privacy laws, such as the landmark European Union-wide framework General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
As well as allowing for blockchain-powered and privacy-preserving data sharing, QEDIT’s ZKP technology has been designed to be used in audit and due diligence services for financial institutions, an earlier report has outlined.
Geoff Jiang — a vice president and general manager of Ant Financial Technology and Business Innovation Group — is cited by Calcalist as saying that:
“Ant Financial shares a common vision with QEDIT to protect data privacy and security. Robust privacy measures are critical to the ongoing development of the wider finance sector. Together with QEDIT, Ant Financial is committed to providing such capabilities as part of our blockchain services.”
QEDIT was reportedly co-founded by CEO Jonathan Rouach in 2016 and Ruben Arnold, both of whom have previously founded crypto firms, including crypto exchange Bits of Gold and LedgerLock — which provided security services for a range of digital assets and was subsequently sold to Digital Assets Holdings.
As reported in April, Dutch global banking and financial services corporation ING has recently introduced a new solution that extends its existing blockchain privacy-focused technologies such as zero-knowledge range proof and zero-knowledge set membership.
In fall 2018, Big Four auditor Ernst and Young launched its own prototype for a system that enables secure and private transactions to take place on the Ethereum (ETH) public network, using ZKP technology.