Ripple Labs, the creator and developer of the Ripple payment protocol and exchange network, will soon be closing a US$30 million Series A funding round.
The deal places the San Francisco-based startup at a valuation of about US$100 million, a person familiar with the situation told the media outlet.
The US$30 million Series A round will include Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, IDG Capital Partners, as well as other existing investors.
So far, Ripple Labs had raised US$9 million in 3 rounds, which included two rounds of angel funding and one round of seed funding.
Ripple Labs' investors include Andreessen Horowitz, the Bitcoin Opportunity Fund, Camp One Ventures, Core Innovation Capital, Google Ventures, IDG Capital Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Venture51, as well as angel investors Bryan Bradford, Ryan Fugger, Jeffrey D. Jacobs, Ram Palaniappan, and Steven Westly.
Founded in 2012 by Chris Larsen and Jed McCaleb, Ripple Labs (formerly OpenCoin) is the developer of the Ripple protocol, a decentralized distributed payment network, known to be bank and regulator-friendly.
Ripple aims to reduce the cost and time it takes to make transnational payments in different currencies, and primarily targets financial institutions and remittance providers, rather than consumers.
Last year, Ripple Labs signed on two American banks, Cross River Bank and CBW Bank, as well as the German bank Fidor, to use the Ripple network to allow customers to send funds internationally.
Ripple supporters believe the technology holds the promise of doing much more than other cryptocurrencies. One of its prime advantages argues Founder at SearchCoin Network, Vishal Gupta, is that the software development and promotion are run by a company rather than a non-profit organization.
"You might think this is a bad thing but actually, it aligns the financial interests with the interests of the users," he wrote in a blog post.
He further added:
"Going beyond Bitcoin, Ripple will easily integrate into traditional payment networks like debit cards or checking accounts, allowing vendors to unknowingly accept Ripple payments through their already existing systems. Since Ripple IOUs correspond naturally to fiat currencies, these integrations will be far more convenient and functional than their Bitcoin counterparts."
Last week, Ripple Labs announced it had named Gene Sperling to its Board of Director. Sperling is the first person to serve as National Economic Council Director and National Economic Advisor for two presidents, whose contacts and experience will most likely come in handy as the cryptocurrency industry begins to deal with regulation.
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