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SoftBank backs crypto crime tracking firm Elliptic in $60 million round

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Elliptic, the London-headquartered crypto startup that monitors financial crime, has raised $60 million from a group including SoftBank.

The ‘Series C’ found round was led by Evolution Equity Partners and featured money from existing investors including US bank Wells Fargo and Octopus Ventures.

Elliptic builds software to help track and monitor cryptocurrency transaction. Its products are used by banks and fintechs like Revolut amd Coinbase to ensure they are not dealing with stolen or illegal funds. Law enforcement agencies like the FBI also use Elliptic to track the proceeds of crime.

“We’re seeing a lot more interest from both crypto native businesses and traditional financial institutions,” Elliptic’s chief executive Simone Maini told the Standard.

Elliptic plans to use the new money to double its headcount to 200 and continue expansion around the world. The company has offices in the UK, US, Japan, and Singapore.

The expansion comes after a recent revival in crypto thanks to adoption by institutions like Square and PayPal. The price of bitcoin - often seen as a bellwether for sentiment - hit a new all-time high in April before falling back but has been gaining ground in recent weeks.

Maini said “considerable advancements in regulation” around the world had provided “clarity and consistency” for finance firms looking to get into crypto.

“The curiosity of a lot of institutions has been piqued,” Maini said. “I think there’s a widespread acceptance now that a crypto-enabled future is inevitable.”

Elliptic’s funding announcement came shortly after it was announced that former UK chancellor Philip Hammond was joining a crypto startup as a senior advisor. Hammond said the UK could lead the world by creating a “blockchain-based ecosystem for financial services”.

“There’s a lot of awareness now,” Maini said. “It’s no longer seen as a Wild West.”

The involvement of SoftBank is likely to draw attention. The Japanese firm was behind the largest ever venture capital firm in the world, its $100 billion Vision Fund, and its actions are closely watching. SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 was behind the Elliptic deal.

“They’re really very open top the potential of blockchain and crypto technology,” Maini said, adding that Elliptic appealed as its products were “foundational” to the market.

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