a16z leads $ 20 million Series A for Valora digital wallet – Byron Review

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The new funds will be used to further develop the product and educational content needed to acclimatize people to the use of cryptocurrencies. A handful of other companies announced new funding today, including Fireblocks, Ero, Saber Labs and Hedgehog Markets

The open-source blockchain ecosystem Celo has announced that its digital wallet Valora will now operate as an independent business amid the close of a $ 20 million Series A cycle led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z).

Celo aims to make decentralized financial systems and tools (DeFi) accessible to anyone with a smartphone. The Valora mobile digital wallet will now be a standalone business on the Celo platform, which offers users the ability to quickly save, send and spend cryptocurrencies.

The wallet will allow payments in seconds with near zero fees, Andreessen Horowitz sponsor Arianna Simpson said in a tweet.

Other investors in the round include Polychain Capital, SV Angel, Nima Capital, NFX, and Valor Capital, among others.

Valora was launched publicly in February 2021 and now has more than 200,000 users with a balance and 53,000 monthly active users in more than 100 countries, the company said.

The new funds will be used to further develop the product and educational content needed to acclimatize people to the use of cryptocurrencies.

Likewise, analysts have said that digital payment companies such as Square are able to steal significant market share from traditional banks over the next decade as crypto services drive engagement from those companies, said. declared. Recently reported blockworks.

Cash App, a service developed by Square, could become the “central bank of the future”, according to a study by Mizuho Securities.

“Consumer awareness of crypto has never been higher, but many people are being left behind, either through skepticism or lack of access,” said Jackie Bona, who takes on the role of CEO of Valora after being responsible for consumer growth. by cLabs, Inc. (cLabs).

As it stands, Valora gives users the ability to send funds to virtually any mobile number in the world using any smartphone, even with poor internet connectivity. which eliminates the need to rely on a computer or high-speed internet.

Additionally, users can participate without traditional bank accounts, have full control over their funds, and pay transaction fees with the stable token instead of having to own two separate digital assets, the company said.

“Valora lowers the barrier to entry into crypto and DeFi. We believe in a world in which every individual has access to the wealth and opportunities created by this new global financial system, and Valora will strive to continue to provide better access and build bridges to a better and more inclusive future ” , said Bona.

Other companies are also planning to launch new wallets to help fix the digital wallet space. In September, crypto-venture studio Thesis plans to launch its fifth studio project, a Web3 wallet, to the public, CEO Matt Luongo told Blockworks. The project started because Thesis saw a gap in wallet experiences and wanted to create a better experience and infrastructure for crypto-based wallets.

“The portfolio ecosystem is a wreck. It has been a theme since 2014, ”he said. People want a cross-chain experience that makes sense with decentralized finance in their portfolios, so they don’t have to constantly work with a bunch of apps to do a core business on a single wallet, said Luongo.

Crypto fundraising continues

News of Valora’s funding arrives during a busy day in the crypto fundraising space as a handful of other companies, including Fireblocks, Eco and Saber Labs, announced new funding, reported Blockworks.

In addition to the above companies, Hedgehog Markets today closed a $ 3.5 million funding round with investors such as Reciprocal Ventures, Republic Labs, Alameda Research, Divergence Ventures, MGNR and Manna. The company also received a $ 100,000 grant from the Solana Foundation earlier this year.

Hedgehog Markets is a decentralized prediction market platform built on the Solana blockchain that allows users to generate passive returns on their funds while participating in the markets, he said. Markets can be a range of topics from politics and economics to decentralized finance etc. Transactions are instantaneous through smart contracts and allow users to transact without a central middleman.

“We believe the conditions are right for innovation in this space,” said Srikar Varadaraj, partner at e ^ {i} Ventures, the venture capital studio behind Hedgehog. “Users are looking for other ways to engage with decentralized applications beyond simply moving assets for performance. Prediction markets are set to become an increasingly popular commodity for users with the rise of DeFi, as financial assets move at the speed of information in a license-free world. “

The funding will be used to propel its launch on the mainnet, which is currently in open beta, before Q4, attract additional talent and continue development stages. Once launched, it will be the first market prediction platform on Solana’s mainnet, according to the company.

With the completion of its seed cycle, Hedgehog will be able to accelerate team growth, product development and time to market, said company founder George Yu.

“We build, and have always built, with the long term in mind; We aim to be the most user-friendly platform not only for crypto users, but also for non-crypto users, and to drive the widespread adoption of Hedgehog. The next step on this journey is the launch of our mainnet, ”said Yu.


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