Blockstream is off to a strong start this year with a number of new customer engagements, our announcement of a strategic partnership with PwC, and today being able to share the news of our second round of financing.
I’m excited to announce that we raised $55 million in Series A funding to further enhance our sidechain technology, expand our operations globally, and support new industry partnerships, bringing our total investments in the company to $76 million.
Our latest round was led by Horizons Ventures, AXA Strategic Ventures, and Digital Garage, with participation from existing investors including AME Cloud Ventures, Blockchain Capital, Future\Perfect Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Mosaic Ventures, Seven Seas Venture Partners, and Batara Eto. As part of the round, I’m also pleased to welcome Frances Kang from Horizons who has joined our Board of Directors.
“Blockchain technology is redefining what is possible within the fintech ecosystem and beyond”, says Frances Kang, Horizons Ventures. “The transition to this new world – one that is decentralized, interoperable, secure, and trustworthy – is going to be illuminating. We are excited to be working with Blockstream to see their innovative sidechain technology reach its full potential.”
“We are convinced that blockchain technology has the ability to transform not only financial services but also other industries.” said François Robinet, Managing Partner, AXA Strategic Ventures. “Blockstream has the best technical team in the industry and we strongly believe in their approach of developing foundational infrastructure for various blockchain applications. We value Blockstream’s open source approach and its sidechain technology, which will allow interoperability between different chains and provide critical long-term success in this sector. We also look forward to partnering with Blockstream to drive the transformation of insurance and asset management businesses.”
“We are excited to work with Blockstream to expand their business in Japan and other Asian countries in conjunction with Digital Garage’s strategic partners in the financial sector,” said Kaoru Hayashi, Group CEO, Digital Garage. “We look forward to seeing how cryptofinance and blockchain technology create new contexts for a better society.”
As a young company, I’m proud of our accomplishments over the last year. We launched the Elements Project, including a working sidechain, that included new innovations such as Segregated Witness and Confidential Transactions. We lined up the founding group of exchanges for our first commercial sidechain, called Liquid, and we began working with a number of companies interested in blockchain use cases across logistics, finance, hospitality, gaming, and telecommunications.
We doubled the size of our team, replaced our string of Airbnb hacker houses with two small offices in the Bay Area, helped organize and present new research at the groundbreaking technical Scaling Bitcoin workshops, and members of the team continued to make a number of contributions to Bitcoin. Our team also started collaborating closely with a new strategic partner, PwC, to explore combining expertise and technology to accelerate the deployment of blockchain technology to the market.
It was against this backdrop that, during the last quarter of 2015, we decided to accelerate timing for our Series A financing. We had more than half of our initial seed investments in the bank (still true today), but the growing interest in blockchain technology created an opportunity for us to ensure we have the resources to sustain what is sure to be a marathon and not a race; building an open source infrastructure to re-architect the very dynamics underpinning trust globally.
As our investor and board member Reid Hoffman wrote back in 2014, before many execs first wrote “blockchain” on their whiteboards, “Bitcoin is a transformative addition to Internet communication protocols that will create new networks of trust, fuel massive economic ecosystems, and create enduring long-term value.”
All of our investors have a proven track record of working with companies on the bleeding edge of innovation, and across a number of industry sectors, helping to support entrepreneurs to develop new tech that redefines ecosystems. We’re thrilled to welcome Horizons Ventures, AXA Strategic Ventures, and Digital Garage to our great group of investors and advisors.