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Ripple, the Google-backed blockchain developer, announced it has raised $55 million in a Series B financing round from Standard Chartered, Accenture Ventures, SCB Digital Ventures, the venture arm Siam Commercial Bank and additional investment from Santander Innoventures, the venture arms of CME Group and Seagate Technology, and Venture 51.
Additionally, several major banks have joined the list of financial institutions using Ripple’s blockchain technology to improve their cross-border payments: Standard Chartered, National Australia Bank (NAB), Mizuho Financial Group (MHFG), BMO Financial Group, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) and Shanghai Huarui Bank. Ripple’s distributed financial technology enables banks and other financial institutions to reduce the time and cost of settlement and offer new types of high-volume, low-value global transactions to their customers.
Among the already existing Ripple customers are 5 of the top 50 global banks, 10 banks in commercial deal phases, and over 30 bank pilots completed.
Big banks like Santander, UBS, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Westpac Banking Corporation, ReiseBank, CIBC, National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), ATB Financial and Fidor Bank are already using Ripple’s blockchain technology.
“2016 has proven to be the year where the most forward-thinking financial institutions are actually using blockchain technologies for payments and settlement rather than as an experiment,” said Ripple CEO and co-founder Chris Larsen. “The continued growth of the Ripple network represents a major endorsement of our open approach to connecting the world’s banks and their customers. Together we are building a modern payments system to enable new economic opportunities and the seamless flow of value around the world.”
So far Ripple has attracted $93.6 million from 27 investors, including the latest round. Among them are GV (Google Ventures), Andreessen Horowitz, IDG Capital Partners, and Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Venturer.
In August SBI Ripple Asia announced the creation of a Japanese consortium of 15 banks that will utilize Ripple’s payment and settlement technology. It is expected that the total number of members will grow to 30 and the new service will go live in the spring of 2017.
A recent study of the UK consulting and analysis company Juniper Research found that in the first six months of 2016 the blockchain technologies have attracted $290 million in venture capital.