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Family Office Capital Backs Blockchain Startup

By Kathleen Leahy

Family Office Capital Backs Blockchain StartupBlockchain startup Digital Asset has brought in another $40 million in funding, bringing its total amount raised to $100 million. According to Reuters, this latest round was led by Jefferson River Capital, LLC, the family office of Tony James, president and chief operating officer of private equity firm Blackstone. Founded in 2014, New York-based Digital Asset has been funded by some of the world’s largest banks, making it one of blockchain’s most high-profile startups.

The funding will be used mainly to grow the company’s team, which currently holds 130 employees globally. It was also announced that Digital Asset has hired Clyde Rodriguez – a former co-chief technology officer of hedge fund Two Sigma Investments – as chief information officer and CTO of engineering.

“As we head into 2018, we will seek to both [continue to grow] the existing projects we are working on to bring them into production and to take on new ones,” said Blythe Masters, Digital Asset’s CEO and the former head of global commodities for JPMorgan. Although she didn’t say how many new people would be hired, she did note that the team could grow through acquisitions.

In early 2016, Digital Asset raised more than $60 million from large financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., CME Group Inc., Deutsche Borse and Citigroup. Its clients include Australian Securities Exchange, which is also an investor, and the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation.

While Digital Asset has focused on using its technology in financial markets, the company doesn’t seem to want to exclude other sectors in the future. “I wouldn’t rule it out because the technology lends itself, but we are very focused on what is not a small market segment,” Masters said.

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by Kathleen Leahy

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