The UK-based blockchain intelligence startup Elliptic has raised $23 million in its Series B funding round. The funding round was led by SBI Group, a Tokyo-based subsidiary of the global leader in investment market space, SoftBank.
The round also witnessed participation from AlbionVC, and previous investors including SignalFire, Octopus Ventures, Santander Innoventures, among many others. As part of the investment agreement, Tomoyuki Nii from SBI Group and Ed Lascelles from AlbionVC will join Elliptic’s board.
Elliptic was launched in 2013 by the trio of Adam Joyce, James Smith, and Tom Robinson with the motive to increase the security and transparency of cryptocurrency transactions. Its portfolio services include crypto forensics, cryptocurrency investigation, anti-money laundering compliance, and so on.
According to the company, the transactional value of Bitcoin in the dark web has reached $1 billion so far, in 2019, that represents about 0.5% of overall Bitcoin transactions over the same period.
Bitcoins are used to purchase various items online ranging from illicit drugs to stolen credit cards. Cryptocurrency payments are almost impossible to track, which has attracted many people to use it to buy illegal products.
James Smith, CEO of Elliptic, stated that crypto money launderers were continually developing new techniques to cover their tracks. This has forced cryptocurrency security agencies to update their technology to keep pace with the illicit trade.
“We are seeing a growing demand for their services across our portfolio of crypto-assets related companies and view Elliptic as best-placed to meet this considerable requirement,” expressed Yoshitaka Kitao, CEO of SBI Group, on partnering with Elliptic. He further added that crypto-assets would play an important role in shaping the future of banking.
Elliptic had already partnered with researchers from MIT and IBM to develop deep learning techniques to identify illicit crypto-asset transactions.
The company has stated that the latest funding would be put to use to enhance their technology further to make the crypto-currency trade more secure and transparent. The company also has huge plans to expand its services to Asian countries.
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