Three Bitcoin-related businesses have been accepted into the Barclays Accelerator program. The program is run jointly with Techstars, which provides seed funding, intensive mentorship and a network of mentors and alumni in exchange for a 7-10% equity stake in their supported ventures.
It is the first time Bitcoin-related companies have entered the program. Overall, ten startups have been accepted out of hundreds of applicants.
The best known of the three is Safello, a Sweden-based bitcoin brokerage. Speaking to DC Magnates, CEO and co-founder Frank Schuil said that his company’s compliant approach to the market and long-standing relationship with a leading Swedish bank indicate a message of stability to the venture investment world.
The company did experience a setback back in January when its UK-based bank account was shut down, making it more difficult to serve UK clients. As to the potential for better banking relationships–long a pain point in the crypto world, Schuil said, “We have high hopes, but there’s no certainty in Bitcoinland, as we know from experience. The selection of Safello to the program does signal a positive trend amongst the banks and regulators. This is a great improvement compared to when we first started the company and opened the path for broader acceptance.”
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The program lasts for 90 days, after which the startups will present their progress. Schuil said that the objectives of its program participation cannot be publicly disclosed until after the presentation.
Schuil believes that the Techstars resources will be highly valuable. “Our team is impressed with the forward-thinking mentors behind this world-class Techstars program. We are very excited to get the opportunity to join the Barclays Accelerator to explore ways to expand our platform,” he said.
The other two Bitcoin companies to be accepted are Atlas Card, which is developing bitcoin-powered debit cards, and Blocktrace, which is working on blockchain-based solutions for the insurance industry.