Q1’17 saw blockchain startup investment deals rise for the third consecutive quarter and funding rebound after a three-quarter drop, even as debates around scaling bitcoin, cryptocurrency ETFs, and token sales raged on. Notably, ethereum — a smart-contract enabled network that seeks to be the platform of choice for the development of decentralized applications — has seen real growth with its announcement of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, a consortium of top tech firms and corporations advancing ethereum business use-cases. Ethereum’s price on cryptocurrency exchanges has skyrocketed along with the media attention.
We used CB Insights to identify the most well-funded companies in the sector, after a couple of recent financings boosted the war-chests of some of the largest blockchain companies.
Blockchains are cryptographically secured, distributed ledgers, first developed as the underlying technology of the popular cryptocurrency bitcoin. Cryptocurrency-focused companies, which we include within our blockchain definition, offer products or services related to the trading, storing, or usage of cryptocurrencies and rely on an underlying blockchain infrastructure, while blockchain-focused companies develop solutions that apply blockchain technology across sectors and verticals.
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A few key takeaways:
- Circle Internet Financial — once a bitcoin exchange and now a money services and payments platform — and Coinbase, a wallet and cryptocurrency exchange, took the top two spots with noteworthy corporate investors, including Goldman Sachs and Baidu in Circle, and
NYSE Euronext in Coinbase.
- Financial services firms and other corporates continue to invest heavily in strategic blockchain applications in financial services, like Chain, Digital Asset Holdings, or Ripple.
- Of the top ten most well-funded companies, two have raised in 2017: BitFury Group in a $30M Series C, and Veem (formerly Align Commerce) in a $24M Series B.
- Nine of the top 10 most well-funded companies are headquartered in the United States.
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