Yesterday Belgian blockchain startup Settlemint announced a €16 million ($16m) Series A funding round led by the UK’s Molten Ventures and Netherlands-based OTB Ventures. Other new backers include Fujitsu Ventures, Allusion and Bloccelerate, alongside existing investor Medici Ventures.
The startup is a low-code middleware company making it easier and faster for corporates to develop blockchain solutions across a variety of blockchain technologies. It has solutions across several industries, including NFTs, banking, supply chain, and energy.
“When we launched SettleMint in 2016, we saw the benefits that companies would gain from integrating blockchain applications into their existing systems but also knew that there was no easy way for developers to achieve this,” said Matthew Van Niekerk, SettleMint Co-Founder and CEO.
“As practitioners, we also recognized the repeated and predictable challenges that every blockchain implementation faces and that enterprise grade implementations have very high security, scalability and interoperability requirements.””
The funds will be used to expand its existing presence in Belgium, Dubai, Delhi and Singapore and set up a new office in Japan with help from Fujitsu. While Fujitsu is now an investor, the startup has been working with the Japanese firm for years as a channel partner.
For example, a product transparency trial by beer giant AB InBev in 2020 involved Settlemint alongside Fujitsu. The Japanese tech giant is no slouch when it comes to blockchain as one of the founders of the interoperability protocol Hyperledger Cacti.
Both Bloccelerate and Medici Ventures are experienced in corporate blockchain-focused venture investing. For example, Medici is a backer of Bitt, the CBDC development firm, Medici Land Governance and security token firm tZero, which recently attracted investment from NYSE owner ICE.
“While there is massive demand to implement blockchain solutions and applications, there is an equivalent shortage of blockchain expertise,” said Vinoth Jayakumar, partner at Molten Ventures. “SettleMint bridges that gap by allowing developers to build web3 products and focus on end-product business use cases, not on underlying complex blockchain infrastructure.”
Settlemint used to label itself as an enterprise blockchain firm, although it has supported both public and private blockchains from the early days. What it really means is it targets enterprise use cases. The permissioned blockchains supported by Settlemint include Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Besu and R3’s Corda. And the public blockchains include Ethereum, Avalanche, Polygon and Binance Smart Chain.
Every blockchain middleware company has a very different offering. But in that group we’d include Kaleido, SIMBA Chain and Finboot. The DAML smart contract language also supports multiple blockchain technologies.