The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) announced this week that it had led a $9.7M round of funding in payment network Dwolla. Is the CME signaling an interest in routing trades over the real-time Dwolla rails?
The potential of where Dwolla’s infrastructure can be used was also what interested CME. “We believe Dwolla’s real-time infrastructure solutions can benefit the financial ecosystem within which we exist,” said CME’s Mark Fields, who is the MD of its strategic investments operations. Fields is joining Dwolla’s board as part of the investment. From what we understand, this is not about a pivot for the company: Dwolla will continue to launch more services and partnerships in the markets that it already services. Other partnerships include tie-ups with GoDaddy to power e-invoicing, and more news along these lines should be coming out in the next couple of months. We’re asking Dwolla for details on how the investment will impact its valuation, and for any details about how specifically it will be working with CME Group — including how it will price transactions in new services. Today the transaction fee for a Dwolla payment is a flat $0.25 for transactions above $10, or free for those under that amount.