Swedish bitcoin exchange Safello has started a €263,000 crowdfunding campaign to expand the company into a blockchain-based “bank of the future”. While Safello is currently in the business of facilitating digital currency trades, the company is looking for additional funds to expand its offering into lending, crowdfunding and remittance.
The campaign is being hosted on Sweden-based crowdfunding platform FundedByMe.com, which Safello used in a previous $300k funding round in March of last year.
The crowdfunding page reads:
“Long term, we see numerous opportunities by using so-called smart contracts to make more complex transactions possible on the platform.”
Since its inception in 2013, Safello has focused mainly on the Swedish and European digital currency markets, raking in 28,000 registered users that have executed a total of $11 million in virtual currency trades. However, despite the company’s success, CEO and co-founder Frank Schuil believes that Safello needs a more comprehensive suite of tools to entice mainstream users into using digital currencies, “Our goal has always been to get more people into the cryptocurrency economy to spark widespread usage, even if we have to call it blockchain — only half-joking here.” writes Schuil, in one of his recent blog posts.
Schuil sees the need to incorporate social media components into Safello’s blockchain services, much like Venmo’s payment platform, where users can check up on the spending habits of their online acquaintances:
“Users opening up the Venmo app not to make payments nor to check their balance or see where they are with their budget. No, Venmo users open up their app four-to-five times per week just to see what their friends are up to.
Safello will be looking to leverage the funds from this crowdfunding effort to hire new developers that can actualize this all-encompassing blockchain-powered financial platform. As for an exit strategy, Safello is looking at several options; acquisition by a financial institution or tech firm; grow into a public company.
At press time, the funding round has raised 68% of the required funds from 52 investors, with another 37 days left.
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