Goldman Sachs, Wall Street Banks Sink $32 Million into Enterprise Blockchain Startup

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We may, as Lightning Labs CEO Elizabeth Stark said earlier this year, be entering a “bitcoin not blockchain” world, but the global banking cabal isn’t ready to capitulate on its support for enterprise blockchain products just yet.

Indeed, Axoni, an enterprise blockchain startup founded in 2013, has just concluded a $32 million Series B funding round headlined by a group of Wall Street’s largest financial institutions.

Announced on Tuesday, the funding round was led by Goldman Sachs and Nyca Partners and featured investments from major financial industry firms such as Wells Fargo, JPMorgan, Citigroup, and Franklin Templeton. The funding round also included more conventional blockchain investors, including Digital Currency Group, Andreessen Horowitz, and Y Combinator.

“Our strategic partners have been critical to our success so far; we are delighted to strengthen and expand those relationships with this financing as we continue to deploy Axoni’s technology,” said Greg Schvey, CEO of Axoni.

Axoni plans to use its new capital to power the development of its AxCore platform, which is intended to underpin the next generation of platforms that operate in the $11 trillion credit derivatives market. Toward this end, the firm plans to place a particular emphasis on building out AxLang, an Ethereum-compatible smart contracts scripting language designed to facilitate formal verification.

“The adoption of distributed ledger protocols in capital markets resembles the early days of adopting TCP/IP for distributed enterprise applications,” said C. Thomas Richardson, head of Market Structure and Electronic Trading Services at Wells Fargo Securities. “We continue to be impressed with Axoni’s ability to facilitate such adoption by identifying use cases that could benefit from blockchain technology.”

The firm has already signed a major partnership with the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), which offers post-trade clearing and settlement services and processes $1.6 quadrillion worth of transactions annually. Forbes reports that the New Jersey-based DTCC has tasked Axoni with building it a blockchain-based distributed ledger to which it can migrate its Trade Information Warehouse.

In 2016, CCN reported that DTCC CEO Michael Bodson said that the advent of blockchain technology presented the firm with a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to modernize the post-trade environment.”

Previously, Axoni raised $18 million in a Series A funding round led by Wells Fargo and NEX Group, and the company has now raised a total of $55 million.

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Josiah is an assistant editor at CCN. A former ancient and medieval literature teacher, he has been reporting on cryptocurrency since 2014. He lives in rural North Carolina with his wife and children. He holds investment positions in bitcoin and other large-cap cryptocurrencies. Follow him on Twitter @Y3llowb1ackbird or email him directly at josiah.wilmoth(at)ccn.com.