​Shell amps up investment in blockchain with minority stake in tech start-up

Shell Trading International Ltd and Calibrate Partners LLP took minority stakes in a London-based blockchain start-up that secured its first funding round this week.

Founded in 2015 and based in London’s Level39 Fintech Accelerator, Applied Blockchain Ltd. develops blockchain applications with a focus on distributed ledger technology and smart contracts.

Shell previously selected the start-up as winner of a development competition for Shell’s downstream businesses.

“Blockchain applications have huge potential to shake up how we do things in the energy industry from streamlining process, to simplifying how we work with our suppliers and serve our customers. Investing in Applied Blockchain is part of our commitment to use digitalization to create value in our core business and develop new business models,” Johan Krebbers, chief technology officer for IT at Shell Global Solutions International, said in a statement.

The agreement marks the start-up’s first entry into the energy industry. Its clients include global players in banking, telecoms, automotive, manufacturing, aviation, as well as a range of blockchain start-ups and partners.

Applied Blockchain grew organically through 20 successful client engagements in two years and was featured in Gartner’s 2017 Market Guide for Blockchain Consulting and Proof-of-Concept Development Services report.

“Our experience as one of the earliest companies delivering blockchain solutions into production for both start-ups and corporates has provided us with a unique perspective on the value, and challenges, associated with the technology in the real world. The investments and partnerships will accelerate our growth and enable us to deploy our solutions to a truly global business ecosystem,” stated Adi Ben-Ari, founder and chief executive officer at Applied Blockchain.

The initial funding will be used to accelerate growth, and develop and launch technology for private, consortium and interchain business blockchain networks.

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