Colu, an Israeli blockchain startup that creates localized, digital currencies, has raised US$14.5 million from IDB Development Corporation as an investment in the company and as part of its Colu Local Network (CLN) token pre-sale. IDB Development Corporation joins Spark Capital, eToro, Aleph and former Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer as contributors in the CLN pre-sale.
IDB Group, which is involved in the finance and insurance sectors, is Israel’s largest holding company. Amos Meiri, Colu’s co-founder and CEO said the investment into his startup was “a vote of confidence in cryptocurrencies and the role they could play in the retail market.”
“This strategic partnership with a group that has an avid commitment to the community, like we do, represents a big step towards expansion in Israel,” Meiri said. “We are excited to collaborate with the IDB’s team and look forward to making local economies flourish.”
Sholem Lapidot, CEO, IDB Development Corporation, believes that blockchain and cryptocurrency technology will play a key role in the future form of payment for goods and services.
“IDB believes that Colu will help to support the growth of blockchain technology as a real life payment method. We are thrilled to be rolling out plans for increased innovation in our diverse industries,” Lapidot said.
“This investment, among others, is part of our genuine vision to integrate between the traditional and the new economy, combining customer centric approach with technological progress.”
Colu, a startup founded in 2014, specializes in blockchain-based digital currencies for local communities. It launched its digital wallet app earlier this year and now operates in four cities in the UK and Israel, serving 100,000 users and executing more than 85,000 transactions each month.
Colu launched the pre-sale of its CLN token a month ago. The CLN token will be issued on the Ethereum network as an ERC-20 token and will provide access to the CLN network.
The CLN token will represent an index value of the community currencies issued on the network, and will be used as a basis for transactions as well as a form of reward for retail payments.
The CLN network will be payment system powered by everyday consumption. The network will allow communities to issue their own currency and use it to incentivize merchants and consumers for buying and selling locally.
Colu will run the public token sale for its CLN token between January 18 and 25, 2018. The company seeks to raise US$25 million in the campaign.