Kepler Finance Monthly Roundup: fundings and M&A’s in the blockchain space
The current cryptocurrency bear market might have some of us wondering about the future of Blockchain. Yet despite declining crypto prices, Wall Street’s enthusiasm (Nasdaq) for the technology behind Bitcoin hasn’t completely cooled. While someone is continuing its push to suck up talent (Coinbase), others make their first acquisitions (Bakkt). And it comes despite a growing pragmatism about the technology’s limitations and potential applications. We have been delighted to see the ecosystem evolve, and we are devoted to using our resources to further this mission too.
Conventional equity fundings
08.01Ethereum ecosystem rally around. The Ethereum Foundation has just awarded a $5 million grant to Parity Technologies to support the firm’s work building the blockchain network’s next iteration, ethereum 2.0.
14.01Authenteq, an identity verification platform built using AI and Blockchain who graduated from Startupbootcamp Mobility program in 2015, gets $5m funding led by Draper Associates and Capital300.
15.01Blockchain-powered supply chain ecosystem Chronicled secured $16m in Series A funding round to bring Blockchain to the pharmaceutical industry. The round was led by Mandra Capital, with participation from Streamlined Ventures, The Perkins Fund, Frank Fiore, and David Aho.
17.01The ConsenSys’s investment arm, headed by managing partner Kavita Gupta, participated this month in three new investments: $1m in the Paris-based crypto wallet and trading platform Coinhouse, an undisclosed amount in the encryption-centric browser Tenta, and $2m seed funding round of the Reykjavik-headquartered Monerium. ConsenSys Venture’s portfolio now shares mutual investments with Nordic VC fund, Crowberry Capital, Hof Holdings, XAnge, Digital Currency Group, BTU Protocol Ecosystem Fund, co-founders of Ledger Eric Larchevèque and Thomas France.
21.01Switzerland-based Cryptocurrency ‘smart card’ wallet manufacturer Tangem has secured $15 million in funding from Japanese finance giant SBI Group. Tangem aims to provide better support to companies which embrace the idea of physical distribution of blockchain assets.
23.01Nasdaq Ventures is the lead investor in $20m series B funding round of Symbiont, a New York-based company that’s applying blockchain technology to capital markets. Other investors include Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Holdings and Raptor Group Holdings, an investment company backed by Jim Pallotta’s family office.
24.01San Francisco-based provider of a cryptocurrency custody service Anchorage raised $17m Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Khosla Ventures, Max Levchin, Elad Gil, Mark McCombe of Blackrock, and AngelList’s Naval Ravikant.
31.01 Pantera Capital, Coinbase Venture and Digital Currency Group followed $4.5m Seed funding round of crypto staking startup, Staked. Pantera Capital partner Paul Veradittakit is set to join Staked’s board of directors. Other major firms that participated in the round include Winklevoss Capital, Global Brain, Fabric Ventures and Blocktree Capital.
Token Generation Events
16.01Crypto trading platform IronX, that launched a beta version of its platform in December, raised more than $26m during its public sale that was open to potential contributors for two months. IronX operates as a global collaboration with Hong Kong-based blockchain accelerator, EmurgoHK, and IronFX, the global multi-asset broker.
17.01LTO Network, a revenue-making BaaS project for B2B, finished its TGE. The smart contract for the crowd sale was set at 17,683 ETH. Just before the crowd sale, it raised around $1.8m in the private round in the end of 2018, and $1.4m back in 2017.
28.01TRON-affiliated blockchain project for peer-to-peer file sharing BitTorrent has met the hardcap in 20 minutes during token sale held on the Binance Launchpad. Participants were able to purchase between 100,000 BitTorrent (BTT) tokens (the minimum amount eligible for purchase) and 166,666,666 BTT (the maximum amount).
Mergers and acquisitions
14.01Bakkt didn't launch its planned bitcoin futures exchange this January, but acquired certain assets of Rosenthal Collins Group (RCG) to expand its compliance capabilities.
17.01Coinbase acqui-hires Blockspring, San Francisco-based startup that graduated from Y Combinator. Blockspring enables developers to collect and process data from APIs.
24.01Mingxing “Star” Xu, the founder of cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin, has become the largest individual shareholder of a public company listed in Hong Kong via a $60 million acquisition.
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Kepler Finance is dedicated to providing comprehensive data focused on the DLT and digital asset sector for investors. Our own research into blockchain companies shows us how fragmented blockchain investment data is at both the company and industry levels. We believe that solving this problem will increase trust and unlock value in the sector.