Crypto startup Celo, created by A Protocol Inc., has received $30 million in a new funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz’s A16z Crypto and Polychain, WSJ reports. The company previously raised $6.4 million.
Celo is an open-source platform building a cryptocurrency, Celo Gold, as well as Celo Dollar, a dollar-pegged stablecoin that will be backed by a collateral reserve of Celo Gold and other digital assets. The company is also working on its own user-friendly wallet that enables people to transfer and receive cryptocurrency using their mobile phones. Users will be able to even send Celo Dollar to people who don’t have the app, using just their phone number. The payee will be able to receive the payment; however, in order to access it, they’ll have to download the app.
While Celo’s ambitions are global, it is first concentrating on targeting emerging markets. It is now piloting its Android app in Kenya, Tanzania and Argentina.
“We see big potential in letting people—directly on their smartphone—access basic financial services,” said Rene Reinsberg, co-founder of Celo. “We are based on blockchain technology but for the average end user we try to abstract that away, to make the experience as easy as any other mobile app.”