by Joseph Young
Real-time gross settlement system, currency exchange and remittance network provider Ripple Labs has raised an additional US$4 million from Santander Banking Group’s venture capital fund InnoVentures, bringing Ripple Labs’ Series A funding round’s total to US$32 million.
“Santander InnoVentures is a natural fit in this round because of their demonstrated support for real-time international payments and their commitment to new technologies that enable Santander to empower its customers,” said Ripple CEO and co-founder Chris Larsen in a press release. “We are excited to work closely with them in building the Internet of Value and accelerating adoption amongst financial institutions, market makers and businesses worldwide.”
The Spanish banking giant’s InnoVentures is a US$100 million fund secured for startups in the fintech and blockchain space. The bank will be funding more startups providing technologies, platforms or APIs that are directly applicable to their current banking system and which could be “used in support of Santander’s customer base.”
“Santander has long been an advocate for modernizing banking infrastructure,” announced Mariano Belinky, Managing Partner of Santander InnoVentures in a statement.. “In our recent Fintech 2.0 report, we highlighted the $20 billion opportunity available to the financial services industry, and many of the scenarios where distributed ledger technology will have a positive impact.”
“We believe Ripple possesses the talent, technology, and momentum to address many of these scenarios, and are actively exploring where and how best to apply Ripple technology inside the bank. Ripple and Santander share a common vision of the future of the industry, and we intend to jointly advocate it in the community,” added Belinky.
Santander banking group and other financial organizations that participated in the Series A funding round of Ripple Labs are looking forward to designing methods of integrating the bitcoin blockchain onto their trading and settlement platforms. The banks believe that the blockchain technology’s efficiency in transacting payments and settling assets could eliminate a huge portion of their management costs.
Currently, Ripple provides bank-grade blockchain-based solutions to prominent banks and financial institutions including the Fidor bank of UK. “With Ripple, we can deliver a superior banking experience at a fraction of the time and cost,” said Matthias Kroner, Fidor Bank AG CEO.
Financial organizations are looking into Ripple’s real-time settlement and remittance solutions, which allow institutions to send payments internationally with low costs.
“With Ripple’s real-time settlement solution, corporate treasury can effectively address international payments instantaneously while freeing up working capital,” stated Dave Morton, Senior Vice President, Finance and Treasury at Seagate Technology, one of the leading investors of Ripple Labs’ series A funding around.