Latin American micro-lending startup Ripio Credit Network concluded its initial coin offering (ICO) presale, raising $31 million from accredited investors. Following the public Ripio ICO, the startup hopes to have raised a total of about $40 million.
Ripio (formerly BitPagos) has been operating within the crypto space since 2013 and established a blockchain-based lending service to help unbanked Latin American residents obtain loans. Now, the startup aims to expand the service into developing markets outside of Latin America through the creation of the Ripio Credit Network (RCN), an Ethereum-based micro-lending platform.
Using cosigned smart contracts, the network connects borrowers, lenders and co-signing agents. Significantly, both lenders and borrowers can interact with the platform using fiat currency, while the cosigner and corresponding wallet providers settle the contract using RCN tokens. This makes the platform much more accessible to people who are not familiar with cryptocurrency. The settlement process will require fees, but Ripio says they will be far lower than those charged by conventional lenders.
The presale, which was limited to accredited investors, raised $31 million from investors across the world, including significant contributions from Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea. Notable investors included Blacktower Capital, Blockchain Investors Consortium, and FBG Capital. Ripio notes that presale participants did not receive a discount, although they did have an opportunity to purchase tokens in much larger quantities than are available in the public Ripio ICO.