The initial coin offering for Latin American startup Ripio’s micro-lending network reached its $37 million hard cap.
The blockchain financial services firm, formerly known as Bitpagos, is developing the Ripio Credit Network with the stated goal of democratizing the lending process and removing the geographic and bureaucratic barriers that prevent borrowers in emerging markets from obtaining loans at reasonable rates from traditional lenders.
The Ripio Credit Network platform is governed by cosigned smart contracts and will be settled using RCN tokens. However, both lenders and borrowers can interact with the platform using local fiat currency, making the platform accessible to people who are not familiar with cryptocurrency or do not want to go through the extra step of currency exchange.
The startup raised $31 million during an October presale that was open to accredited investors and attracted investments from Blocktower Capital, Blockchain Investors Consortium, and other venture capital firms. Presale participants did not receive a discount off the public ICO price, but they were allowed to purchase tokens in larger quantities than ICO contributors. The public ICO had a $6 million limit, and Ripio achieved that mark to bring its fundraising total to $37 million.
“The original idea of Ripio Credit Network was to widen financial inclusion by extending credit lending globally, said Ripio Credit Network CEO and co-founder Sebastian Serrano. “The support, not only for our platform but for our mission, is truly inspirational and an unforgettable benchmark in the evolution of the lending infrastructure.”
Ripio also announced a partnership with Asian cryptocurrency exchange Huobi.pro, which will serve as the first liquidity provider for the credit network exchange. According to the project roadmap, the platform is supposed to go live in April 2018, and the company says it is currently participating in conversations with wallet providers, credit exchanges, and financial institutions in emerging markets to develop additional partnerships.