Apollo, Figure Team on Blockchain-Based Fund

Apollo, Figure Team on Blockchain-Based Fund

Apollo Global Management said it plans to offer a new fund on a public blockchain as it deepens its relationship with the FinTech Figure.

According to a Bloomberg News report Tuesday (Nov. 22), Apollo and Hamilton Lane are launching investment operations via a platform on Figure, using a blockchain technology called Provenance. Figure CEO Mike Cagney told Bloomberg the offering will be part of Apollo’s digital asset strategy.

“It’s the beginning of what we think will be a systemic trend of funds migrating onto the blockchain,” Cagney said. “It’s not crypto. It’s using blockchain as it was intended as a way to disintermediate marketplaces.”

Apollo’s digital asset efforts include working with Figure on things like mortgage loan origination and transfers, and securitization, Bloomberg said. Apollo CEO Marc Rowan has said that the Figure partnership would lower costs and offer more accessible data via blockchain technology.

PYMNTS wrote earlier this week that even after the downturn in the cryptocurrency market, a number of venture capitalists and investors still admire the underlying technology of blockchain and speak warmly of “its disruptive potential to reliably transfer assets, at scale, between parties with no need for an intermediary, as well as its ability to record transactions on an immutable ledger that simultaneously serves as a public database.”

PYMNTS also spoke with Figure’s Cagney earlier this year about the company’s partnership with the Provenance-powered Ready Life platform, which lets customers who pay their rent on time via the Ready Pay Visa Debit Card qualify for mortgages without a credit score check.

Ready Life, Cagney told PYMNTS, uses credit as a cornerstone for building lasting banking relationships and “does not need a mortgage technology platform — they need a capital markets partner that can originate the loans.” Loans are underwritten with the data intelligence collected from the borrower’s use of the Ready Life debit card.

As he told PYMNTS’ Karen Webster, the Ready Life/Figure collaboration illustrates what’s to come: “The ultimate democratization of banking is going to be underpinned by blockchain — and the movement to a decentralized, rather than centralized, construct.”

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Convenience drives some consumers to store their payment credentials with merchants, while security concerns give other customers pause. For “How We Pay Digitally: Stored Credentials Edition,” a collaboration with Amazon Web Services, PYMNTS surveyed 2,102 U.S. consumers to analyze consumers’ dilemma and reveal how merchants can win over holdouts.

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