Blockchain startup Symbiont raises $20 million via Series B funding

As per a recent Bloomberg report dated 23rd of January, Inc., a New York-based company which applies blockchain technology to capital markets have raised $20 million in a round of series B funding.

Basis the revealed information, Nasdaq Ventures is the major investor in Symbiont’s series B funding round. Few other investors comprise, Citigroup Inc, Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Holdings Ltd. and Raptor Group Holdings, an investment company supported by Jim Pallotta’s family office.

Earlier to this, the company, through a seed round in 2014 and Series A funding in 2017 had raised a consolidated $15.4 million.

The CEO of Symbiont, Mark Smith, stated “We have been very good stewards of capital for the six years we have been in business. I think we have done more with less than anybody out there. So it was time for us to do a bigger round and adding the Nasdaq as an investor and partner, and Citi as an investor and partner, really solidifies our strategy.”

Smith believed that such support towards Symbiont by the investors reflects the Wall Street’s interest in the technology backing Bitcoin and that the fall in the crypto market hasn’t affected such enthusiasm.

Further, Smith stated “We are entering a much more realistic phase where people look at this technology and think seriously about where it makes sense to apply it and where it doesn’t. We are leaving the peak of the hype cycle and entering the trough of disillusionment, especially for people who inappropriately applied this technology hoping it would become a panacea for solving all their problems.”

The project developed by Symbiont is its own blockchain and smart contract platform known as ‘Assembly.’ The platform can be utilized to share and certify data by the financial institutions. Such smart contracts are nothing but pre-programmed agreements which will anticipate the response of complicated financial instruments in varied circumstances. Such smart contracts and blockchain technology improves the efficiency level within the mortgage bond market by enhancing the settlement time associated with processing syndicated loans.

Nasdaq will explore opportunities to utilize Symbiont’s Assembly platform with its prevailing and fresh clients who are willing to adopt the latest smart contract platform, where the real world assets will get transformed to digital contracts

Smith mentioned about the association of Blockchain and the traditional exchange method and stated “Symbiont will give Nasdaq the ability to originate a financial instrument and the smart contract to custody it on a blockchain, to allow trading to occur with their matching engine, to allow surveillance to occur across the network using Nasdaq technology and then to perform settlement on a blockchain.”

Symbiont also stated that the cash raised via funding would be utilized on its data management, mortgages, private equity, and syndicated loans.

Further, Smith said “The new administration came in with less fanfare about the use of the technology and a very conservative approach. Instead of moving forward, they took a big step back and decided to defend the incumbents against what they considered disruptive tech, then reached out to IBM and spent over $1 million replicating the exact road map we gave the state.”

Smith revealed that many of its projects would start production in 2019, the first being the Vanguard collaboration, which uses corporate action data to manage the asset manager’s passive indices. Next in the pipeline are Syndicated loans and mortgages.

Smith also believed that the innovative ideas are always generated in the mind of individuals or small group who are able to iterate at a faster pace. He said “I think what you get in consortiums is just compromise. You end up with average tech, nothing revolutionary – sometimes barely evolutionary. Creating a back office as a service with a shared ledger is not revolutionary. That’s what a consortium will get you.”

He also stated that his firm has never been concerned about the bear market and has always stayed away from the issues related to “shenanigans.”

“We kept our head down and focused on what we always believed would be the marketplace, which is a regulated marketplace,” he said.

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