Swiss-startup SEBA Crypto AG raises $103 million in latest funding round

SEBA Crypto AG aims to be the bridge between new age financial instruments and traditional institutions. It wants to build a bank that will offer cryptocurrency services to companies and investors while at the same time extend traditional banking services to firms.

In an interesting development, SEBA Crypto AG, a Swiss startup, has raised $103 million (100 million Swiss francs) in order to build a bank that will offer cryptocurrency services to companies and investors while at the same time extend traditional banking services to firms.

SEBA Crypto is headed by Guido Buehler and has Andreas Amschwand as its chairman, both former manager at UBS.

On Thursday, the group said it has applied for a securities dealer and a banking license to manage cryptocurrency trading and investments for banks and qualified investors. It also wants to provide corporate financing, including advising on initial coin offerings (ICO), and other cryptocurrency and banking services to traditional corporate clients and cryptocurrency groups.

“SEBA wants to bridge the gap between traditional banking and the new world of crypto,” said Buehler. “With safety, transparency and performance as core values, our ambition is to become a market leader in the convergence of traditional finance with the crypto economy.”

Zug-based SEBA Crypto has applied for a license from FINMA, the Swiss financial market supervisor.

FINMA has also confirmed it is in contact with SEBA on the matter.

Incidentally, more than 500 blockchain and cryptocurrency startups have settled around Zurich and Zug. While the industry has grown, it is facing challenges on many fronts, including integrating into the country’s traditional financial hub.

Lenders and banks are increasingly relying on blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrencies. However they are hesitant to mingle with the crypto industry given that due diligence were rarely performed. As a result, cryptocurrency groups have faced difficulties gaining access to banking services.

“In Switzerland we have commitment from various authorities to establish a comprehensive regulatory environment for the development of blockchain technology and the sustainable, stable growth of crypto assets,” said Amschwand. “This makes Switzerland the ideal place to launch a new financial services paradigm.”

Its latest fund raiser saw backers including Hong Kong-based Summer Capital and Swiss-based BlackRiver Asset Management among other investors from Hong Kong, China, Switzerland, Malaysia and Singapore.

SEBA Crypto aims to start digital services and open branches in major financial hubs, beginning with Zurich in 2019.

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