Cryptoasset forensics, compliance and investigations firm, Elliptic, has announced an impressive round of Series B venture capital funding.
The new investment - which follows 2013 its Seed Funding and a Series A VC round totalling UD$5m back in 2016 - adds $23million to its coffers and, as is usual with Series B financing such as this is targeted for use in Elliptic's plans to expand. Specifically, it is looking to grow its Asian business interests, and prepare its technologies for the arrival of new high-profile cryptocurrency projects including Facebook's Libra and incoming Central Bank Digital Currencies.
The funding round was led by the Tokyo-based financial conglomerate, and owner of the VC Trade crypto exchange, SBI Group. Additional money comes from - among others - the London-based Santander Innoventures arm of the Spanish banking giant. As part of the deal, Tomoyuki Nii from SBI Group will be joining the Board of Directors, with company looking to open offices in Japan and Singapore in the near future, following what the company describes as an 11x increase in revenues from Asia-based clients in the last 24 months.
According to Elliptic's press release, its tech is already employed by over 100 crypto businesses and financial institutions worldwide to manage financial crime risk when dealing with crypto-assets. May of this year saw the company taken onboard by massive crypto exchange Binance to improve its AML compliance, using the company's tech top screen transactions and analyse them for links to illicit activity.
Dr. James Smith, Co-founder and CEO of Elliptic, said: "This new investment will allow us to double down on our mission to enable the crypto industry to grow and take shape."
"We are delighted and extremely proud to have the backing of SBI Group, who will play a key role in our expansion toAsia and will support our teams in Singapore and Japan. Their involvement demonstrates not only how far the crypto world has come, but also the critical role Elliptic plays in enabling the banking adoption of crypto-assets."
At the beginning of August, Elliptic released what it called the “world’s largest set of labeled transaction data publicly available on any cryptocurrency," based on its work. The data set, which comprised over 200,000 Bitcoin movements totally around US$6billion in value, and contained around 4,000 (around 2%) that the company had flagged as being crime-related or from criminal actors. At the time Tom Robinson, the chief scientist and co-founder of Elliptic, stated that the firm used “a range of advanced techniques, including machine learning, to facilitate financial crime detection in cryptocurrencies.”
The data came alongside the release of a paper co-authored between the company and the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab entitled ‘Anti-Money Laundering in Bitcoin: Experiments with Graph Convolutional Networks for Financial Forensics’.
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