Swedish bitcoin exchange and services provider Safello has closed a recent round of funding exceeding their goal of $293K USD and raising a total of $299,987 USD from 96 investors. The funding round shines a light on what to expect next from the startup, which has big aspirations to shakeup the bitcoin space.
As already reported, Safello was raising funds to help bring identity to their platform. Safello’s pitch is that they are “building the bank of the future on top of blockchain technology.” Safello is attempting to reinvent their service by adding identity as a layer on top of the bitcoin blockchain.
The Safello AppStore
As part of the funding round, Safello says that they are going to be making huge changes to their platform in order to reach their ultimate goal. Moving beyond being a bitcoin exchange (acting as a brokerage), Safello is going to be phasing out their SaaS model and starting an AppStore model.
The AppStore will be a revenue sharing model with third-party services in order to have a complete and robust platform for their new “transaction browser.” The transaction browser will provide a transaction stream of information where the user will receive recommendations based on their purchase history. Users that will be making a payment will see it in their home currency of sterling, the recipient sees it in euros, but the underlying transaction goes through bitcoin. On top of the transaction browser and AppStore will sit APIs for developers to tap into the data.
A key component of the success of this model will be social integration. By adding identity as a second layer it will create an easier to understand experience that more people are accustomed to; think of Facebook and Spotify but for your bitcoin wallet.
The Safello Wallet
Safello is also working on a native wallet application as part of their suite of services. In addition to supporting bitcoin, the Safello wallet includes plans to launch support for ethereum as well.
Safello CEO and founder Frank Schuil said about the wallet,
“We are not planning to offer just one web wallet, we want to be an aggregator of 3rd party wallets and as such never hold any coins ourselves. Our first integration will be Bitgo where the customer stays in full control. However, we would like at one point to integrate an insured wallet from a 3rd party. We’ve applied a similar approach to our brokerage model where we’re not holding any coins.”
Later this year Safello plans to hire more staff and do a Series A strategic funding round. Some key investors already have been Erik Voorhees of Shapeshift, Nicolas Cary of Blockchain, entrepreneur and investor Roger Ver, Barry Silbert of DCG, and others.