Canadian Crypto Lender Ledn Raises $2.7M for Emerging Markets Expansion

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Canadian cryptocurrency lender Ledn is aiming to do in other emerging markets what it did in Latin America, with funding and advice from a new set of global venture capitalists, the company announced Monday.

The lender has raised a $2.7 million second seed round led by White Star Capital with participation from Coinbase Ventures, Global Founders Capital, CMT Digital, Kingsway and Darrow Holdings, an affiliate of Susquehanna International Group.

Ledn has already developed Spanish descriptions of its service and cryptocurrency content, as well a Spanish-speaking support team, said co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer Mauricio Di Bartolomeo.

The company also built its product set around what was popular in Latin America. Ledn’s stablecoin savings features and micro-loans as low as $500 are also popular in the region, Di Bartolomeo added.

“When we developed the products in LatAm, we realized that the average assets that each client would have were not going to be at the same level as they were in North America,” Di Bartolomeo said. “That’s not just limited to Latin America. That’s similar to a lot of emerging markets.” 

The next step for the company is to expand into Africa, said Ledn CEO Adam Reeds.

Previously, the company had raised $1.55 million from Spark Power Group co-CEO Andrew Clark and Someren Capital in September 2018, which it used at the time to expand its lending operation in Canada. 

The lender also recently engaged auditing firm Armanino LLP for a proof-of-reserves attestation.

Ledn gave Armanino a hash of the assets each client held on the platform as of Jan. 31 for the accounting firm to prove that the company’s assets outweighed its liabilities.

“We’re opening ourselves up for clients to open up their own reserves without exposing any client data,” Reeds said. “We’re encouraging others in the industry to do this as well.”

Ledn plans to perform a proof-of-reserves process on a semi-annual basis going forward.

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