Crypto payments startup Celo has raised $30 million in funding round from Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto fund A16z Crypto and venture capital firm Polychain Capital.
Founded in 2018, Celo is a decentralized Proof-of-Stake (PoS) protocol that allows anyone to securely send stable-value digital assets to any phone number, anywhere. By making Celo open platform and open source, the startup aims to enable an ecosystem of powerful applications using the platform, including easier cash transfer programs, peer-to-peer lending, collaborative small-scale insurance, and other digital assets and wallets. Recently, Celo announced two digital assets – Celo Dollar, a stable-value digital asset pegged to the US Dollar, and Celo Gold, a deflationary digital asset that absorbs the fluctuations in the stable asset’s value with the help of the Celo protocol.
In a blog post, Celo announced that A16z Crypto and Polychain Capital purchased $15 million and $10 million in the project’s Celo Gold tokens, respectively, alongside additional Celo Gold purchases from several other leading institutions spanning the Americas, EMEA, and Asia, during a recently closed round.
The funding will be used to further Celo’s goal of building a monetary system that creates the conditions of prosperity for all. The company said that they believe that by making financial tools more accessible and by innovating upon the primary features of money, they can make a positive impact on the world.
“Over time, there will be many ways to participate in the Celo ecosystem, from contributing to the codebase, to participating in consensus, to using your cell phone to help run the network,” Celo said. “With Celo’s platform, anyone with even a simple Android smartphone will be able to participate and earn Celo Gold for decentralized verifications as part of our lightweight identity protocol.”
This summer, Celo is planning to release its public testnet, along with open-sourcing its codebase.
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