Welcome to our new weekly series on blockchain venture capital deals.
Barrel Protocol, a Tel Aviv-based startup focused on automating consumer data compliance using smart contracts, closed a $4M seed round on September 7, 2018. Participants in the round included Neo Global Capital, Altair Ventures, Gigi Levi, and Collider. Barrel Protocol is a spin-off of Superfly Insights, a company that provides mobile application and services analytics. Barrel Protocol makes users’ data anonymous, drastically reduce high compliance and acquisition costs, generates more revenue for data sellers, and increases transparency for all parties.
Leading the team is Chief Executive Officer & Founder Jonathan Meiri, a serial entrepreneur and former PayPal and eBay employee. Mr. Meiri previously founded Superfly Insights and is now hoping to use smart contracts to crack the $600B global data market that is projected to reach $1T by 2020. Mr. Meiri has an MBA from INSEAD. Spearheading the technology efforts for Barrel Protocol is Chief Technology Officer Iddo Berger, former CTO of Superfly Insights.
Mr. Berger holds an M.A. in Computational Linguistics from Tel Aviv University. On the marketing front is Odelya Ohayon, Chief Marketing Officer of Barrel Protocol. Ms. Ohayon has previously worked for Samsung Israel and Nokia and studied marketing at Ben Gurion University.
Bloqboard, a San Francisco-based provider of tools to access peer-to-peer (p2p) lending on the Ethereum blockchain, recently raised an undisclosed amount in a seed round. The lead and only investor in the round was Polychain Capital, a top crypto asset and blockchain investment shops.
Currently supporting the Dharma lending protocol, Bloqboard provides user-centric tools to access peer-to-peer lending protocols and is built for borrowers, underwriters, lenders, lending app developers, and lending protocols. Bloqboard allows users to request to borrow tokens, view outstanding loans, and access peer-to-peer lending protocols to lend.
Guiding the vision of Bloqboard are Co-Founders Alex Bazhanau and Vitaly Bahachuck. Mr. Bazhanau is the Chief Technology Officer of Confirmation Labs, a San Francisco-based researcher and developer of products focused on tokenized debt and token lending. Moreover, Mr. Bazhanau holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Belarusian State University.
Similarly, Bahachuck is the Founder of Confirmation Labs, as well as a serial executive and former investment banker. Mr. Bahachuck holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting from the University of Colorado Boulder – Leeds School of Business.
Spacemesh, an Alaska-based blockchain infrastructure startup, announced the close of a $15M Series A round on September 5, 2018. Previously raising $3M in a seed round from Slow Ventures, Gigi Levy-Weiss, BRM, Dekrypt Capital, and iAngels, the Series A was led by Polychain and other participants included MetaStable, Coinbase Ventures, Bain Capital, Paradigm, 1kx, Danhua Capital, Arrington XRP Capital, Jack Herrick, Collaborative Fund, Jack Herrick, Electric Capital, and others. Spacemesh features a Proof of Space Time (PoST) consensus mechanism, which allows any computer to take part in consensus and ends the reliance on ASIC chips and CPUs.
Aviv Eyal, Tomer Afek, and Rami Kasterstein co-founded Spacemesh. Eyal, a serial entrepreneur, and advisor has worked on everything from mobile technology to music technology startups. Mr. Eyal has a degree from Tel Aviv University in Philosophy and Computer Science. Serving as Chief Executive Officer of Spacemesh, Mr. Afek is a serial management and marketing executive that worked with media and technology companies.
Likewise, Mr. Afek holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Economics from Tel Aviv University. Supporting the project as a Co-Founder and Board Member, Mr. Kasterstein additionally is a Managing General Partner at Scale-Up Venture Capital and has over 25 years of startup experience.
Cointopia, a San Francisco-based comprehensive and community-driven solution for token sales and post-sale management, closed a $3M seed round on September 5, 2018. Participants in the round included Arrington XRP Capital, Ausum Ventures, BlockWater Capital, Divergence Digital Currency Fund, Gil Penchina, Mark Pincus, Roger Lim, Sonny Singh, Richard Titus, Michael Terpin, and Mike Costache.
Cointopia is the first community driven token sale marketplace that is secure and powered by a group of curated ICO companies, service providers, and accredited investors. The marketplace will allow users to purchase, follow influencer investments, and access qualified investors.
Charles Michael Yim, a serial entrepreneur, reality TV personality, author, and speaker, founded Cointopia and serves as the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Cointopia. From appearing on ABC Television shows such as Shark Tank, Beyond the Tank, and Top Chef to running a crypto hedge fund, Mr. Yim is a contemporary renaissance man.
Mr. Yim holds Bachelor’s Degree in Business Economics from the University of California, Riverside. Accompanying Mr. Yim are Felix Baum, Director of Engineering and 15-year Adobe veteran, and Colette Young, Head of Business Development and venture capital and disruptive technology guru.
Altcoin.io, a San Diego-based decentralized exchange (DEX) startup has recently raised nearly $1 million from 1,125 investors through crowdfunding service WeFunder. Amassing over 100,000 pre-registered traders since September 2017, Altcoin.io aims to create a next-generation crypto asset trading platform by parlaying the decentralization of non-centralized exchanges with the usability of centralized exchanges.
Altcoin.io will also integrate an atomic swap wallet using hashed-time-locked-contracts (HTLCs) to ensure success for both parties and enable low friction trades between different networks. If both participants do not confirm the trade during the time period designated by the hashed-time-locked-contracts, the trade is canceled and participants reclaim their tokens. Powered by the sidechain Plasma, Altcoin.io is building an exchange that features the best aspects both decentralized and centralized exchanges.
Directing the visionary decentralized exchange startup efforts are Co-Founders Andrew Gazdecki and Sulejman Sarajlija. Serving as Chief Executive Officer of Altcoin.io, Mr. Gazdecki exited his former startup, Bizness Apps, in a $1 billion acquisition by private equity firm Think3. Mr. Gazdecki holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Marketing from California State University, Chico. Heading the engineering efforts, Mr. Sarajlija has worked with several startups in various development capacities. Mr. Sarajlija holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science Engineering from International Burch University.
Last but not least, French energy company Engie and business consulting group Maltem have partnered to create a new blockchain firm. Blockchain Studio, a France-based joint venture between the two firms, has secured 1.9 million euros to help grow the blockchain ecosystem in Asia and South Europe. Providing tools to develop smart contracts for less technical folks and better manage blockchain infrastructure, Blockchain Studio plans to open an office in Singapore next year and make an appearance in the Asian market. Blockchain Studio is a big step for corporate venture capital in the blockchain space.
Commanding the vision for Blockchain Studio are Co-Founders Corentin Denoeud and Vincent Le Gallic. Leading as the Chief Executive Officer of Blockchain Studio.
Mr. Denoeud is a serial entrepreneur and previously studied Computer Science and Management. Heading the technology efforts, Mr. Le Gallic has more than 10 years of experience in the software engineering space and holds a degree from the University of Paris-Saclay.
That concludes an exciting week of blockchain venture capital.
Cover Photo by Tom Ezzatkhah on Unsplash
Disclaimer: Our writers' opinions are solely their own and do not reflect the opinion of CryptoSlate. None of the information you read on CryptoSlate should be taken as investment advice, nor does CryptoSlate endorse any project that may be mentioned or linked to in this article. Buying and trading cryptocurrencies should be considered a high-risk activity. Please do your own due diligence before taking any action related to content within this article. Finally, CryptoSlate takes no responsibility should you lose money trading cryptocurrencies.