London’s Santander InnoVentures adds $4m to Ripple’s Series A

London-based fintech investor Santander InnoVentures has joined San Francisco startup Ripple‘s $32m Series A round.

The digital currency developer initially closed the round at $28m back in May but has since added Santander’s innovation fund to its list of backers, along with $4m.

Santander’s $100m InnoVentures fund was set up in London in 2014 to support the growth of startups whose technology could be deployed to future-proof the Spanish bank.

“Santander has long been an advocate for modernizing banking infrastructure,” said Mariano Belinky, managing partner of Santander InnoVentures.

“In our recent Fintech 2.0 report, we highlighted the $20bn opportunity available to the financial services industry, and many of the scenarios where distributed ledger technology will have a positive impact.

“We believe Ripple possesses the talent, technology, and momentum to address many of these scenarios, and are actively exploring where and how best to apply Ripple technology inside the bank.”

The company faces stiff competition in the global remittance market from established players, as well as a tough fight from London’s upstarts World Remit and Transferwise, which now owns around 2% of this billion-dollar market.

But as a pioneer of open source, distributed ledger technology working in partnership with banks to effectively create a new currency, and a winner of a 2015 World Economic Forum prize for financial innovation, Ripple looks set to be a serious contender.

Ripple is part of  international standards organisation W3C’s Web Payments Interest Group and is hoping to become the global platform for real-time, secure payments in any currency.