Hardware wallet maker Ledger has completed a $ 380 million Series C funding round, the third-largest in crypto and blockchain history. Physical hardware wallets, unlike smartphone apps, are dedicated devices used to store digital assets. Ledger has sold over 3 million hardware wallets in 190 countries to date and has over 1.5 million monthly users on Ledger Live, a mobile companion to the Ledger hardware wallet that allows users to manage and store their assets. .
The round gives Ledger a valuation of $ 1.5 billion, making it the latest crypto unicorn. It was led by 10T Holdings, with Cathay Innovation, Draper Esprit, Draper Associates, Draper Dragon, DCG, among others. Ledger previously raised $ 8.3 million in a Series A round in March 2017 and $ 75 million in a Series B round in January 2018.
The Ledger team plans to use the funds to launch a new services platform that will serve as a dashboard where Ledger users can access hundreds of new decentralized products and applications ranging from cryptocurrencies to token protocols. non-fungible (NFT) and decentralized finance (DeFi). . Ledger has integrated with platforms such as Coinify, a crypto payment and exchange platform; Changelly, a crypto exchange; and Compound, a decentralized crypto borrowing and lending platform.
“What we stand for at Ledger is above all safety, but also user-friendliness. It’s a way of saying that anything you do with your crypto should be in a secure environment, ”Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier told Forbes. “Ledger offers you this experience where you can keep your bitcoin or exchange your bitcoin always with a certain level of security. ”
Despite these advances, Ledger still faces the challenge of convincing users to forgo software applications on mobile devices, which are much more popular, for their dedicated hardware. However, Gauthier believes that will change quickly as Ledger continues to evolve its product. Ledger also offers educational material claiming that hardware wallets, while less convenient, are a necessary security measure, according to Ledger’s product testing team of hackers, known internally as “The Dungeon.”
“If you ask Dungeon, there’s no software-only security. When you have your keys, the only viable security is with secure hardware, ”said Gauthier. “Sometimes you have to sacrifice a little usability to be really secure, because if you lose those keys, it’s the end of the game, you lose the value. ”
Gauthier also says that in the next 9 to 18 months, Ledger will launch its next generation of products that will be almost as easy to use as software wallets.
However, Ledger will need to restore confidence in the market after a hack of its marketing database last year leaked customer data, resulting in mass phishing emails. Since then, Gauthier says Ledger has updated its policies to ensure that its partners erase customer data and minimize the time Ledger retains that information.
“The safety of the product has not been affected, but the safety of the company as a whole is something that you can still work on and still invest money, so we are investing a lot of money to make Ledger a much safer value proposition overall, ”said Gauthier.
When asked about the competition, Gauthier doesn’t think there is another company in the crypto space offering the exact same services as Ledger. However, some come close. This week Square
“For us it’s super exciting because it looks like direct competition, but it also tells us that this market is about to get really big and right now we’re number 1 and so when Jack says that it comes into the market, I’m like, cool, the game is on.