Startup spotlight: Curv - security for digital wallets
Recognising the potential for blockchain to revolutionise digital transactions, albeit with some additional augmentation, Curv developed a new architecture reinforced by cloud to make it scalable and easily accessible to the companies which require it.
The result has been what it calls “a new standard for institutional digital asset security”, one which is mathematically secure, operationally efficient and easily customisable.
Curv’s creates ‘shares’ (or cryptographic secrets) which can then be used to create a public key for the wallet. Despite being shareable between users, these shares are confidential assets which are continually rotated to avoid easy compromisation.
However, even if one share were to be infiltrated, the organisation of assets makes further compromisation virtually impossible, as each share is siloed and carries no cryptographic significance of any kind.
Embracing the freedom of the digital economy
- The secure management of exchanges, brokers and over-the-counter desks through an integrated back-end, providing transaction security in either a manual or automatic.
- Digital asset fund management.
- ‘Bulletproof’ security for players in the digital asset space: custodians, banks and fintechs.
Bridging security and availability
Commenting in an article by Venture Beat, Nadav Zafrir, CEO of Team8, stated that interest in Curv stemmed from its ability to solve a persistent problem in digital finance: granting a convenient level of ease to the user without compromising security.
“Curv is solving the eternal trade-off between security and availability. No longer do institutions or enterprises need to maintain physical security that doesn’t scale or ‘’ that are difficult to integrate and secure. Curv gives them a single solution that does it all.”
“eToro believes that, in the future, all assets will be tokenised and that we will see the greatest transfer of wealth ever onto the blockchain. As we grow our digital asset offering, we are looking to work with innovators such as Curv in order to provide the best possible service to our customers.”
Curv announced it had received further funding in a blog post at the beginning of July 2020, wherein $23mn was raised in a Series A funding round led backed by CommerzVentures, Coinbase Ventures, Digital Garage Lab Fund and others.
Bringing overall investment to more than $30mn, the company stated that it would use the money to "grow our team and technology, solidify our position as the most secure digital asset security infrastructure and further serve our client base around the globe."
Fintech Timeline: Tink’s acquisition by payments leader Visa
Tink was founded in Stockholm, Sweden. The company’s integrated, API-based approach was soon met with widespread acclaim for its ability to enhance the customer experience, streamline payments and increase financial transparency.
Through its technology, users can access aggregated financial data, utilise smart finance tools (risk insights, account verification, etc.), and create personal finance management solutions. Tink had become an early leader in a trend still gaining momentum today: Open Banking.
2014 to 2017
The fintech’s Series A, B, and C rounds netted $4mn, $10.2mn, and $14mn respectively. In a short span of time, Tink had already elevated itself to being one of Europe’s leading Open Banking platforms.
- 400 employees
- Serves 18 markets
- Covers over 3,400 banks
- Customer reach of more than 250 million
2018 to 2019
Tink democratised API by launching a platform specifically for developers. This empowered third-parties to create next-gen products for customers.
Furthermore, Tink consolidated its leading position in Europe with expansions in Italy, Portugal, and Spain, as well as appointing former Stripe employee Rafael Plantier as its Country Manager of UK & Eire.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Tink managed to maintain the momentum of the previous year and secured an additional $213mn from two venture capital rounds in January and December.
In May, Tink joined forces with American Express as the latter entered the European Open Banking market. This news was exciting in and of itself, but it paled in comparison to the surprise development on 24 June that Visa had signed an acquisition agreement for the sum of $2.15bn.
“Visa is committed to doing all we can to foster innovation and empower consumers in support of Europe’s open banking goals,” said Al Kelly, CEO and Chairman of Visa. “By bringing together Visa’s network of networks and Tink’s open banking capabilities we will deliver increased value to European consumers and businesses with tools to make their financial lives more simple, reliable and secure.”
“For the past ten years we have worked relentlessly to build Tink into a leading open banking platform in Europe, and we are incredibly proud of what the whole team at Tink has created together,” added Daniel Kjellén, CEO and Co-Founder of Tink.
“Joining Visa, we will be able to move faster and reach further than ever before. Visa is the perfect partner for the next stage of Tink's journey, and we are incredibly excited about what this will bring to our employees, customers and for the future of financial services.
Pictured (left to right): Daniel Kjellén (CEO) and Fredrik Hedberg (CTO)