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Stellar: Billionaire Jiaravanon-led Velo Labs and Interstellar join forces

  • Velo Labs and Interstellar have joined forces to accelerate the development of the Stellar-based remittance network.
  • The company, led by billionaire Chatchaval Jiaravanon, aims to revolutionize remittances, particularly in Southeast Asia.

As announced today, Velo Labs and Interstellar, founded by Stellar (XLM) inventor Jed McCaleb, are merging. Velo Labs is a cross-border settlement protocol backed by Thai conglomerate CP Group that aims to enable faster and cheaper cross-border payments in Southeast Asia on the Stellar blockchain. San Francisco-based Interstellar has a similar goal and aims to revolutionize international payments using Stellar’s technology.

The two companies have already been working together since January 2020 as part of a strategic partnership. Velo Labs’ acquisition of Interstellar is reported to be done for a “nine-figure amount in USD” to accelerate the development of the remittance network, according to TheBlock. Interstellar CEO Mike Kennedy and CTO James Wu will serve as Velo Labs’ new CEO and CTO, respectively.

Chatchaval Jiaravanon, the owner of Fortune magazine and a son of the Thai billionaire Chearavanont family, which controls the Charoen Pokphand Group (CP Group), will remain the chairman of Velo Labs and Lightnet. CP Group is the largest private company in Thailand and one of the largest conglomerates in the world. Commenting on the merger, Jiaravanon said:

This announcement is a pivotal point in our long relationship with Interstellar. It signifies the culmination of our core development phase and the commencement of our growth and evolution phase. Working together as one company will enable us to quickly expand Velo’s ecosystem and continue innovation on the protocol to meet our growing list of partners’ needs.

Velo will focus on remittance market in Southeast Asia

New CEO Kennedy said that following the merger, both Velo and Interstellar teams will focus on revolutionizing international payments with Stellar blockchain technology, particularly in Southeast Asia, adding:

Velo and Interstellar joining teams is a natural progression of that work and will accelerate our shared vision to drive implementation and adoption throughout the region. We’ve already accomplished so much together and I am proud to lead this team through the next phase of our growth.

As CNF reported, Velo achieved numerous key milestones and implemented projects over the past year. For example, the Velo token was issued on the Stellar network, VELO was listed on exchanges such as KuCoin, VCC, OKEx, MXC, the development of the Velo protocol with its core features was advanced, and the first live transaction was conducted on the Federated Credit Exchange Network (FCX) in December 2020.

In the current year, the roadmap is said to focus on “market-leading solutions for individuals, businesses, financial institutions, and their customers.” In addition, Velo “aims to drive greater adoption of the Velo protocol and increase the number of transactions over the Stellar DEX and Velo FCX.”

Jed McCaleb, founder of Interstellar and the Stellar Network, said, “This is a significant step for the Stellar ecosystem, with potential to drive more anchors to the network, creating new on/off ramps in Asia and business opportunities for both Velo and Stellar communities. It ultimately moves us closer to the future we want to see, where Stellar is connecting global financial infrastructure so that it’s faster, more affordable, and more accessible.”

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