Israeli Blockchain Startup Colu Raises 14.5 Million From IDBbr>
Israeli blockchain startup Colu has raised $14.5 million in new funding from IDB Development Corporation, Israel’s largest holding company.
Founded in 2014, Colu uses blockchain technology to create digital, localized cryptocurrencies for communities. The Colu Local Wallet, introduced to its four member communities since January 2017, provides users with access to “community currencies” intended to be the closest digital equivalent of physical cash. The app allows them to connect, discover new shops, and trade with their peers.
Earlier this year, Colu open-sourced its solution for digital currency issuers, Bankbox. Bankbox is a wallet application for digital currency issuance and management that allows users to provide asset verification credentials, issue digital currencies, track assets, and manage distribution, among many other things.
IDB invested in Colu’s platform and the company’s CLN token, which began a pre-sale a month ago. CLN will represent an index value of the community currencies issued on the network. This will enable communities to raise capital and provide new currencies in local markets with instant liquidity.
The companies said the partnership will create new opportunities towards connecting the traditional retail market with a rapidly expanding blockchain based payment system.
Colu co-founder and CEO Amos Meiri said that partnering with IDB group is a vote of confidence in cryptocurrencies and the role they could play in the retail market.
“This strategic partnership with a group that has an avid commitment to the community, like we do, represents a big step towards expansion in Israel,” said Meiri. “We are excited to collaborate with the IDB’s team and look forward to making local economies flourish.”
IDB Development CEO Sholem Lapidot said they believe that Colu will help to support the growth of blockchain technology as a real-life payment method.
“We strongly believe that crypto technology will play a key role in the future form of payment for goods and services, and we are thrilled to be rolling out plans for increased innovation in our diverse industries, with the help of Colu,” said Lapidot. “This investment, among others, is part of our genuine vision to integrate between the traditional and the new economy, combining customer centric approach with technological progress.”