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

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Liptic, a London-headquartered crypto startup tracking financial crime, has raised $60 million from a group including SoftBank.

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

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Elliptic makes software to help track and monitor cryptocurrency transactions. Its products are used by banks and fintechs such as Revolut amd Coinbase to ensure that they are not dealing with stolen or illicit funds. Law enforcement agencies such as the FBI also use Elliptic to track crime proceeds.

“We are seeing a lot of interest from both crypto-native businesses and traditional financial institutions,” Elliptic chief executive Simon Maini told The Standard.

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

Crypto has expanded after the recent revival due to adoption by institutions such as Square and PayPal. The price of bitcoin – often seen as a bellwether for sentiment – hit a new record high in April before falling back, but has been gaining ground in recent weeks.

Maini said that “considerable advances in regulation” around the world have provided “clarity and stability” for finance firms getting involved in crypto.

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

The announcement of Elliptic’s funding came soon after the announcement of former UK Chancellor Philip Hammond joining a crypto startup as senior advisor. Hammond added that the UK can lead the world by creating a “blockchain-based ecosystem for financial services”.

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

SoftBank’s involvement is likely to attract attention. The Japanese firm was behind the world’s largest venture capital firm, its $100 billion Vision Fund, and its operations are being closely monitored. SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 was behind the Elliptic deal.

“They are really very open to the potential of blockchain and crypto technology,” Maini said, adding that Elliptic appealed because its products were “fundamental” to the market.


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