UK-based crypto research startup Elliptic raises $23m Series B led by SBI Holdings

Sebastian Kastner, lead engineer at HydroMiner GmbH, handles cable connections between cryptocurrency mining rigs on racks at the company's mining facility near Waidhofen an der Ybbs, Austria, on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. HydroMiner, the Austrian cryptocurrency miner that mines bitcoins with green energy, is weighing an initial public offering to fund an expansion outside its home country. Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg

Elliptic, a London-based provider of crypto-asset risk management solutions, has raised $23 million in a Series B funding round led by Tokyo-based financial institution SBI Holdings, according to an announcement.

AlbionVC and existing investors including SignalFire, Octopus Ventures, and Santander Innoventures also participated in this round.

The fresh fund will be used for its expansion into Asia with new offices in Japan and Singapore.

The funding will also be used to accelerate product development to support an emerging class of crypto-assets such as Facebook’s Libra, Line Corporation’s LINK and central bank digital currencies.

“We believe that crypto-asset will play an increasingly important role in our everyday lives and are shaping the future of banking. Our investment in Elliptic a further commitment to this belief and to SBI Group’s appetite to help build the digital asset-related ecosystem,” said SBI Group CEO Yoshitaka Kitao.

Founded in 2013, Elliptic uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to trace and locate suspicious transactions on blockchains.

Elliptic previously raised $12 million over five seed and Series A rounds. Its last round in December 2017 led by SignalFire raised $5 million.

The partnership with SBI Group will enable a new wave of established financial institutions to use Elliptic’s proprietary, bank-grade risk data to capitalize on the crypto opportunities ahead of them.

In January, SBI Crypto Investment, a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, invested $15 million in a Series B financing of Switzerland-based cryptocurrency wallet BRD.

SBI Group has been enhancing its investment in the blockchain space. It recently made a $15-million investment in a Swiss cryptocurrency wallet maker Tangem. It also struck a partnership with Denmark-based blockchain security startup Sepior last year.