Tuesday 12 February 2019 2:51 pm

Blockchain startup Chainalysis targets London with $30m raise from Accel

Crypto compliance startup Chainalysis has raised $30m (£23.3m) from venture capital giant Accel to open an office in London's Soho.

The US firm's series B round was supported by existing investor Benchmark, which upped its stake in the company after funding Chainalysis' $16m series A last year.

Chainalysis said it will use the proceeds from the round to open a hub for its research and development (R&D) teams in London, growing its skilled engineer pool by using local talent in the city.

The Soho office will also act as a regional base for the company in Europe, which works with regulators and major financial institutions such as Barclays to fight cryptocurrency money laundering, fraud and compliance violations.

Read more: City watchdog says UK firms need 'clarity' on cryptoassets

"As the use of cryptocurrencies matures across the world, each region is facing distinct challenges that require local expertise to accelerate adoption," said Philip Gradwell, chief economist at Chainalysis.

"London is the optimal location for Chainalysis to invest in sales and R&D to provide that guidance and tap into top universities that increasingly recognise cryptocurrency as a technology poised to reshape the way people exchange value across the world."

The startup also has offices in New York, Washington DC and Copenhagen.

The news comes as London was recognised as Europe's leading fintech centre, after the UK secured another year of record investment in the sector.

Read more: UK fintech investment hits all-time high of $3.3bn

"Thanks to its deep crypto expertise and unique technology, Chainalysis has quickly become the industry benchmark for blockchain analysis and compliance technology," said Philippe Botteri, a London-based partner at Accel and now a member of Chainalysis' board.

"Chainalysis’s vision is to make cryptocurrency compliance a new standard for financial services as the ecosystem matures."