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Blockchain-based app development platform Digital Asset today announced that it raised $120 million in series D funding led by 7Ridge and Eldridge. The company plans to use the funding to expand its team and product portfolio with a protocol that enables data to interface across blockchains and databases.
Digital Asset was cofounded 2014 by Sunil Hirani, Don Wilson, Yuval Rooz, Shaul Kfir, and Eric Saraniecki, and its flagship product is a distributed ledger technology for banks and other financial, health care, and insurance institutions. The company asserts that the blockchain can transform disparate data silos into synchronized networks, minimizing latency and errors by ensuring that data remains consistent.
“I’ve always been passionate about technology and innovation. While I was working at DRW, I had the great opportunity to get out from behind the trading desk and work side by side with Don,” Rooz told VentureBeat via email. “He challenged me to find interesting companies in which to invest on behalf of DRW. At that time, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency were gaining traction and we were able to make some rewarding investments in that space. On the technology side, we developed an investment thesis and spent nearly two years trying to find companies that fit the bill so to speak, but no such company existed. In October 2014, with the support of Don, I left DRW to start Digital Asset.”
Digital Asset developed an open source smart contracting language called DAML that’s designed to run on various ledgers. The company hosts a marketplace featuring premade DAML scripts from Accenture, Wipro, and other companies, addressing uses cases like repackaging mortgage-backed securities and reducing credit risk in repo markets. DAML can also run on top of non-blockchain solutions like Amazon Aurora, which works with MySQL, Postgres, and other conventional database technologies.
Digital Asset also offers DABL, a hosting platform for developers to deploy their DAML scripts into production. DABL helps to abstract away the deployment, management, and scaling of distributed apps, functioning as a live environment for apps that involve flows between people, companies, and markets.
Digital Asset’s highest-profile project is perhaps the distributed ledger system scheduled to be adopted by the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in 2023. The system, which was built using DAML and the ISO 20022 protocol, a messaging standard adopted by the Reserve Bank of Australia, is expected to offer better performance, resilience, and security as well as new functions compared with ASX’s existing CHESS system.
“We continue to build our customer base,” CFO and COO Emnet Rios said. “We are working with 5 of the 10 global stock exchanges, including Hong Kong Exchanges and Singapore Exchange, as well as companies across financial services, like Broadridge and BNP Paribas, health care, like Change Healthcare, and a variety of customers across multiple industries, including insurance, that have not yet been announced.”
A growing market
Buoyed by recent events, blockchain adoption is on the rise across industries. Thirty-nine percent of respondents to a 2020 Deloitte survey said they’d already put blockchain into production, compared to 23% in 2019. The production figure was even higher, at 46%, for organizations with more than $1 billion in revenues. Gartner forecasts that blockchain will generate an annual business value of more than $3 trillion by 2030.
“Our vision is for a world of countless systems, each powered by infrastructure that suits their own unique requirements,” Rios said. “We call this vision the global economic network. To date, there is nothing of its kind that exists today. With the additional funding we can take Daml to the next level, creating a global ecosystem of interconnected, heterogeneous technologies tied together with a common protocol. We are trailblazing a path for the future of how disparate systems will interoperate regardless of the underlying technology.”
Digital Asset’s latest round of funding brings the New York-based company’s total raised to over $300 million.
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