Celo’s big reveal came at the weekend as it said in a blog post that it was finally lifting the veil on what it has been working on for the past year. Celo aims to remove the barriers for large-scale adoption of cryptocurrencies as means-of-payment and is targeting the 1.7bn underbanked global population. It aims to make sending money as easy as sending a text.
The blog post also announced its successful initial funding round of $6.5m which included some of the world’s most highly-regarded angel investors, crypto hedge funds, and venture capital firms. Also participating in the round were Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, Polychain Capital, Coinbase, Reid Hoffman – co-founder of LinkedIn, Jack Dorsey – co-founder and CEO Square and Twitter, Naval Ravikant - CEO and founder of AngelList, Linda Xie, Arianna Simpson, Social Capital, Lakestar, and others.
The company will use stable-value tokens pegged to fiat currencies, like the US Dollar, to minimize the volatility of payments. The first application launching on the platform is a social payment and money transfer app, aimed at developing markets.
The San Francisco-based firm was founded by Rene Reinsberg and Marek Olszewski, they are two of the three individuals who, in 2011, cofounded Locu Inc.; a publishing platform used by local merchants, restaurants, and other companies for the sake of establishing a web presence.
In 2013, Reinsberg and Olszewski sold Locu for a reported $70m to GoDaddy Inc. Subsequently, both the former MIT graduates served as vice presidents at the internet domain registrar and web hosting juggernaut.