Israel-based blockchain startup Colu has raised another $9.6 million in capital for its latest investment round. The funding was led by venture funds Aleph and Spark Capital as well as the former CEO of Thomson Reuters Tom Glocer and Digital Currency Group, the Bitcoin investment firm of SecondMarket founder Barry Silbert (and the owner of CoinDesk since January).
Previously exploring applications of blockchain technology in diverse fields, such as intellectual property rights management for music creators, Colu is refocusing its efforts on local cryptocurrencies. It has developed a set of tools for creating, monitoring and maintaining a blockchain-based coin for communities to promote their local economies. With the help of the new funding Colu plans to launch two projects in the Tel Aviv neighborhoods of Jaffa and Florentin, and once these succeed to quickly expand to other locations such as Amsterdam and Silicon Valley.
Colu is well connected in the Israeli fintech scene. Its co-founder and CEO Amos Meiri is the former Head Of Dealing at eToro and its co-founder and Vice President of R&D. David Ring is also a co-founder and former CTO of eToro. Furthermore, in early 2015 Colu added eToro founder and CEO Yoni Assia to its board of directors, three weeks after its first $2.5 million funding round.
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Back in May 2016 Digital Currency Group added both a former Treasury Secretary and a director of the NY Fed to its ranks, furthering its connection with the U.S financial establishment.