Pantera, Jack Dorsey’s Square join $14M round for crypto settlement startup Transparent Systems

Quick Take

  • Transparent Systems, which is developing a “real-time” cryptographic payment settlement network, has raised $14 million
  • The fresh capital has been injected by notable investors, including Pantera Capital and Square
  • Alex Fowler, CEO of Transparent, told The Block that the new investment will be utilized to expand team, including hiring enterprise software engineers, and to accelerate product development.

Transparent Financial Systems, the Seattle-based startup that is developing a “real-time” decentralized payment settlement network, has closed a $14 million Series A round.

The round was led by Pantera Capital, with participation from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s Square, Digital Currency Group, Future\Perfect Ventures, IDEO Colab Ventures and CMT Digital.

The Series A round brings Transparent’s total funding to date to $22 million. The firm has previously raised $8 million in seed financing from Vulcan Capital in July 2018.

Alex Fowler, CEO of Transparent, told The Block that the fresh capital will be utilized to expand team, including hiring enterprise software engineers, and to accelerate product development. He declined to share the firm’s Series A valuation.

Founded in early 2018 at Vulcan Inc., a private company founded by late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, Transparent spun out in July of that year as an independent entity. The firm aims to “transform” cash settlement processes.

"We are building a new, cryptographically secure, real-time settlement solution that removes transaction costs and friction associated with traditional payment rails," Fowler told The Block. "Our decentralized network eliminates single points of control that hold back current financial systems and solves for settlement time constraints and money spent on transaction fees."

Fowler declined to share whether Transparent is building its own, proprietary blockchain network or developing on top of an existing public or private blockchain. "We’ll have more to say about our product in the months ahead."

Beta program 

Transparent said it is currently in the process of concluding its beta program with "a number of major financial services and fintechs" in the U.S., without disclosing any names.

"Our first offering is focused on B2B [business-to-business] payments and treasury management, making it possible for companies to directly manage real-time USD settlement while lowering financial risks," Fowler told The Block.

Transparent said it is "on track" to open up its network for testing and initial commercial use in this year.

There are currently 25 people working for Transparent, mostly engineers, said Fowler, adding that the firm has made "a major investment" in putting the Rust programming language at the center of its development work.

“Blockchain represents a path towards a more robust, safe, and empowering future for all participants in the economy – from individuals to businesses. We are excited to work with Transparent Systems to bring that vision to the financial system," said Mike Brock, strategic development lead of Cash App at Square.


© 2021 The Block Crypto, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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