Orange has announced that it has taken a stake in the American start-up Chain, through its investment vehicle Digital Ventures, alongside large groups in the financial sector such as NASDAQ, Visa, Citi, Capital One and Fiserv. A specialist in blockchain, a technology that allows the creation of new networks of exchanges and dematerialized transfers, Chain receives a total investment of $ 30 million in series B.
While the blockchain is mainly cited with the arrival of crypto-currencies such as bitcoin, Orange specifies that this investment must come to develop the sectors of connected objects but also of telecoms. The blockchain makes it possible to secure and encrypt information exchanges and money transfers, on a decentralized value chain managed by the players themselves. These transactions are automatically recorded on a shared ledger, improving the transparency of the system. In these exchanges, signature encryption helps fight fraud.
Data at the heart of the blockchain
Orange also materializes these first experiments carried out through its subsidiary in San Francisco. “We believe in the disruptive potential of blockchain. Becoming a key partner and an investor of Chain will allow us to learn faster and launch trials around this technology, ”said Pierre Louette, Deputy CEO of Orange and President of Orange Digital Ventures. Launched in early 2015, Digital Ventures has a budget of 20 million euros in the first year to take minority stakes.
Chain is one of the nuggets that Valley investors are watching closely. Founded in February 2014 in San Francisco, the start-up Fin Tech had already completed three successive fundraising rounds bringing it $ 43.7 million in investments a few months after its launch. “We are delighted to partner with Orange to explore new uses of blockchain on the telecom network. We believe that these new networks will simplify data transfers for operators and enable new services that will improve the user experience, ”said Adam Ludwin, co-founder of Chain with Devon Gundry.