Published On: Thu, Jun 23rd, 2016

Israeli Blockchain Startup Colu Raises $9.6 Million to Promote Bitcoin-Based Local Currencies

COLU team

 

 

Israeli blockchain startup Colu has raised $9.6 million, a fundraising that comes after the company shift in its business focusing on local currency issuance.

Investors included Aleph, Spark Capital, Digital Currency Group and former Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer.

In early 2015 the company raised $2.5 million seed. The latest financing round brings the amount raised by the company to $12.1 million.

While before Colu was developing colored coins technology, a top-level protocol on the bitcoin network that allows bitcoins to be augmented to represent other assets, CEO Amos Meiri said the company has now honed in on a specific use case that was the most in-demand among its users.

Founded in 2014 and based in Tel Aviv, Colu has 24 employees and plans expanding its workforce to 30.

Colu developed a platform for creating digital currency based on blockchain technology. The company target local currencies that help small businesses and improve local economic growth by eliminating the dependence of the business on the bank or credit card company and make a direct path between buyer and seller.

Colu has created digital currencies for two Tel Aviv neighborhoods – Jaffa and Florentin. The digital currency is linked to the shekel and is according to the company the Israeli digital equivalent of cash. The company says that its platform is already in use by municipal authorities in Barbados and Brazil.

Colu CEO Amos Meiri told currency website CoinDesk, “There are a lot of other use cases for colored coins, in music, in the Internet of Things, but what we saw after a while was that more than 60% of the use cases were for local currencies. This is where our market is.”

He added, “We have the wallet and we have a control panel where the manager of the local economy can issue a distributed currency, gain access to data about the economy and manage it from one place.”

 

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