PayPal Confirms Plans to Acquire Israeli Startup Curv

Payment giant, PayPal confirmed reports surfaced last week that it plans to acquire crypto security company, Curv, which provides security infrastructure for digital assets. PayPal expects to complete the acquisition in the first half of 2021.

The news was first reported by Israeli newspaper Calcalist, which initially estimated the deal tag at around $500 million. However, sources familiar with the matter told CNBC that PayPal will pay less than $200 million to buy Curv, which is headquartered in New York, but its research and development offices are located in Tel-Aviv.

Founded in 2018, Curv products are already used by both traditional investment companies that seek to expand into the digital asset space, as well as crypto-native institutions, such as eToro and Genesis. Customers across the globe leverage Curv’s infrastructure to transfer, store and manage digital assets on any blockchain.

The three-year-old company promotes its multi-party computation (MPC) security technology, which includes hot and cold wallet deployment, and keyless security infrastructure backed by a team of cryptographers and cybersecurity experts.

Curv’s most recent fundraising occurred in October, led by fintech VC Illuminate Financial Management and Franklin Templeton, one of the world’s largest asset management groups.

The investment expanded Curv’s Series A funding round to $30 million and came nearly three months after it brought in $23 million. The initial round drew investment from industry players such as CommerzVentures, Coinbase Ventures, Digital Currency Group, Team8 and Digital Garage Lab Fund.

“During our conversations with Curv’s team, we’ve been impressed by their technical talent, entrepreneurial spirit, and the thinking behind the technology they’ve built in the last few years,” said Jose Fernandez da Ponte, general manager of blockchain and crypto business at PayPal.

“As a pioneer in security infrastructure for digital assets, Curv is proud to be recognized as an innovator and trusted partner to leading financial institutions around the world. Now, as the adoption of digital assets accelerates, we feel there’s no better home than PayPal to continue our journey of innovation. We’re excited to join PayPal in expanding the role these assets play in the global economy,” added Curv CEO, Itay Malinger.

PayPal has been reportedly exploring acquisitions of cryptocurrency companies as the US firm plans to expand its embrace of cryptocurrencies. The recent takeover came less than three months after acquisition talks between PayPal and crypto custodian, BitGo had broken down after the two sides apparently failed to agree on a valuation.

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