Ripple Labs Announces Fresh Funding Round Author: Jimmy AkiLast Updated: 20 December 2019 Ripple Labs, the blockchain payment company behind the XRP digital asset, has just announced a new funding round. The Series C funding round was announced in a December 20 press release, and in it, up to $200 million was raised from investment company Tetragon, venture capital firm route 66 Ventures, and SBI Holdings. As the announcement explained, Ripple Labs will be using the funds raised to continue improving its global payments network, while also expanding the utility and application of the XRP asset and XRP Ledger. The company also reflected on the year it just had, explaining that the series C funding round capped off what has been its biggest year of growth to date. In the release, Ripple chief executive Brad Garlinghouse explained that the company has started to gain some valuable momentum in its bid to position itself as an industry leader, and lauded their growth efforts in a year where “others in the blockchain space have slowed their growth or even shut down.”The company claims to have established its presence in 45 countries and 6 of the world’s continents, with 70 countries accessing payout capabilities. It RippleNet payment network has also grown significantly, and now serves over 300 million customers across the world. Ripple Labs’ Strategic Alliances The company has also made some synergistic alliances this year as well, the most impressive of which was a partnership deal with global payment processor MoneyGram. The deal, which was initially announced back in June, saw Ripple take a 10 percent stake in the world’s second-largest remittances company for a total of $50 million, while MoneyGram adopted the former’s xRapid on-demand liquidity settlement product into its infrastructure. The xRapid product will help MoneyGram users to send money in one currency and have it instantly settled in the destination currency. By using XRP for transfers, this tool can purportedly make faster transaction settlements with fiat or even other top digital assets. In November, MoneyGram announced that Ripple had completed its end of the deal, as the company had ponied up the $20 million required to complete the deal. XRP Still Lagging However, while the company itself has done rather well this year, its asset has lagged a bit. XRM remains the third-largest crypto asset in the world by market capitalization, but its value has consistently dropped throughout 2019. Like a lot of other large-cap assets, XRP entered the year trading low at $0.35 a token. However, while the crypto rally helped it a bit to a yearly all-time high value of $0.47 in June, it immediately began to slide down from that point. As CoinMarketCap shows, the asset is now trading at $0.194 per token; almost half of what it was valued at coming into the year. Ripple might be capping off one of its best years, but its asset is doing even worse than how it fared when the crypto winter hit. That can’t be a good sign for investors.