LONDON: Fnality, a blockchain-based wholesale payments firm, said on Tuesday it has raised 77.7 million pounds ($95.09 million) in a second round of funding backed by Goldman Sachs and other blue chip financial firms as it awaits Bank of England approval to start operations.
UK-based Fnality seeks to bridge the gap between mainstream and digital finance to cut the time and cost of settling, managing collateral and making payments for financial market transactions.
Fnality said the round was led by Goldman Sachs and BNP Paribas, with participation from settlement houses DTCC and Euroclear, as well as Nomura and WisdomTree.
The cash will be used for setting up a "world-first" round-the-clock global liquidity management network for new digital payment models in both wholesale financial markets and emerging tokenised asset markets, the company said.
"Fnality’s application of blockchain technology offers a resilient way for institutions to use central bank funds across a wide set of potential use cases, including instantaneous, cross-border, cross-currency payments, collateral mobility and security transactions," said Mathew McDermott, Goldman's global head of digital assets.
There was also additional investment from initial round backers Banco Santander, BNY Mellon, Barclays, CIBC, Commerzbank, ING, Lloyds Banking Group, Nasdaq Ventures, State Street, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and UBS.
Finality raised 55 million pounds in its first whip round in June 2019.
"The culmination of this latest round brings Fnality's total capital raised to 132.7 million pounds as it readies for the commencement of initial Sterling Fnality Payment System operations in 2023, subject to regulatory approval," the company said in a statement.
The Bank of England in 2021 gave the green light to a new type of account at the central bank to cater for a wider range of anticipated payments systems, including those based on blockchain or distributed ledger technology that underpins cryptocurrencies.
($1 = 0.8171 pounds) (Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Susan Fenton)