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Enterprise blockchain startup SettleMint raises $2.1m from KPN, Medici

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Yesterday, Belgium-based SettleMint announced it raised €1.9 million ($2.1 million) led by the venture arm of major Dutch telecoms firm KPN and existing investor Medici Ventures. The blockchain startup said it would use the money for the expansion of its business in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and APAC countries. 

This round brings SettleMint’s total funding to €5.5 million ($6.1 million). The company offers a Blockchain Platform as a Service (BPaaS) called Mint, which acts as middleware for blockchain application deployment. The goal is to enable companies to integrate any blockchain into their existing applications and legacy back-end systems. 

Another perk is the option of switching blockchain protocols, but the problem with some middleware is that certain functions specific to a blockchain might not be supported.  

Many companies are developing their own blockchain solutions, or are part of consortia. This process can be time and cost-intensive. 

SettleMint offers a middle layer where it provides a scalable, low-code, blockchain agnostic infrastructure to develop use cases. This means developers can use mainstream enterprise programming languages, and it reduces the cost and time of developing applications. 

 “As with other cutting-edge technologies, getting to the inflection point of adoption requires a product that abstracts away complexity, tools that developers love to use and a solution that decision makers trust,” said Matthew Van Niekerk, Co-founder, and CEO of SettleMint.

Niekerk added, “With more than 30 use cases developed on the platform to date in the public and private sectors, several of which have exited the lab, we are excited to welcome KPN as a strategic investor and partner to accelerate the growth of SettleMint.”

Blockchain is still in the development stages, and issues such as scalability, privacy, and interoperability, are in the process of being be addressed. The complexity of the technology may be holding back innovative applications and mainstream adoption. By providing the tools and know-how to developers, SettleMint believes it can bridge this gap and help companies progress up the learning curve. 

Last year, SettleMint received a €1.59 million grant from VLAIO, an organization for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, to further development of the distributed middleware Mint.

As of January 15, SettleMint’s clients include Standard Chartered Bank, Kuwait Finance House, and Carrefour. The startup has signed up channel partners such as NTT Data, Fujitsu and Lenovo.

In a similar move, earlier this month, Telefónica entered a collaboration with UK blockchain firm Ocyan. The startup is providing the infrastructure layer for Telefónica’s TrustOS. Ocyan’s solution is a “cloud operating system” that is used to run a blockchain network and is also middleware. 

Last year, energy major Repsol invested in tech startup Finboot for its blockchain as a service (BaaS) solution. Finboot’s flagship product is MARCO, which acts as a middleware for blockchain applications.