Ledger Gets $7 Million More to Become Europe’s Best-Funded Blockchain Startup
Wallet hardware maker Ledger has secured another $7 million in funding, saying it makes the company one of the best-funded blockchain operations in Europe.
The latest deal adds to Ledger’s seed funding round in 2015, worth $1.5 million.
Ledger Devices Shipped All Over the World
Known best for its USB key-like Nano and Nano S hardware wallets, the France-based startup says it has shipped over 50,000 units to 130 countries. It recently added the more sophisticated Ledger Blue device to its lineup.
The wallets secure bitcoin balances as well as other cryptocurrencies and can interact with other applications to authenticate identity.
According to a statement posted online, Ledger said the latest round was led by MAIF Avenir. Also participating were XAnge, Wicklow Capital, GDTRE, Libertus Capital, Digital Currency Group, The Whittemore Collection, Kima Ventures, BHB Network and Nicolas Pinto. XAnge led the 2015 round.
Ledger said its next move is enterprise-grade cryptocurrency solutions. These will move beyond individual users to target larger organizations like exchanges, hedge funds and other financial institutions. Its solutions would include features such as multi-signature wallets, multi-currency options, and time-locked payments.
Enterprise Cryptocurrency Solutions
In the statement, CEO Eric Larchevêque said:
“Ledger has seen a tremendous growth in the last months, and we are on track to increase tenfold our revenues this year. Our primary objective is to reinforce our position as a global market leader on hardware wallet products, while we accelerate the development of enterprise cryptocurrency solutions through the signature of soon to be announced strategic partnership agreements. We are also actively pursuing research & development on hardware oracle technology with key industrial customers for smart grid, supply chain and insurance blockchain use cases.”
Devices made by Ledger and main competitor SatoshiLabs (the Trezor wallet) allow cryptocurrency users to store private keys on separate hardware devices that never connect to the internet. Their owners plug them into desktop or mobile devices only to validate transactions, while the keys remain isolated.
Each features additional security layers like PIN protection, confirmation cards and companion mobile apps.
Ledger showed it was interested in moving into higher-end devices when it launched the Ledger Blue device in November 2016. Similar in appearance to a small smartphone, it featured a touchscreen and Bluetooth connectivity.
Hardware wallet makers are starting to branch out beyond cryptocurrency transactions and into wider digital identity and authentication applications. Given the number of enterprise-level blockchain applications currently in development, this could see the market for hardware authentication devices grow dramatically in the future.
Do you own a Ledger device? Would you find one useful? Let us know in the comments.
Image via: Ledger