Blockchain Company Digital Asset Raises $120 Million

Digital Asset Holdings LLC, the blockchain software developer that caters to corporate applications, raised more than $120 million from investors 7Ridge and Eldridge.

The company will use the funds to expand its global workforce by 50% this year and add to its mix of products, according to a statement. The latest round follows a $45 million fundraising last year that included investments from Salesforce.com Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.

Investors have poured record funding into cryptocurrency and blockchain-related companies this year. In the first quarter, 129 startups focusing on digital technology raised about $2.6 billion, according to CB Insights. That’s more than in all of 2020, when they attracted $2.3 billion in 341 deals. Digital Asset Chief Executive Officer Yuval Rooz said the company’s Daml platform allows clients to set up for blockchain without committing to one system.

“They don’t want to tie themselves literally into one blockchain and then tomorrow someone comes along with a better mousetrap,” Rooz said in an interview.

The move to provide blockchain-infrastructure help to industries that rely heavily on data, such as insurance and health care, has been ongoing for years. Digital Asset is best known for working on the Australian Stock Exchange’s transition to blockchain for clearing and settlement. The exchange, which has faced delays, could start industrywide testing by year-end, Rooz said.

Half of Digital Asset’s new business is from companies that simply want to clean up database systems without moving into blockchain, Rooz said. Others want to use blockchain at some point, but aren’t yet ready. Customers include ASX Ltd., owner of the Australian exchange; BNP Paribas SA; Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc. and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd.

“We think the world is much more open and should be able to connect to anything,” Rooz said. The concept of decentralized finance, or defi, to remove any middlemen who don’t provide value is valid, he said.

“There are still questions to be answered from a regulatory perspective and some intermediaries, what is their value?” Rooz said. The underlying technology has come a long way in a short time, however.

“We are in a different place,” he said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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