This Week in Blockchain Venture Capital – Sept. 18
Welcome to the second week of our weekly series in blockchain venture capital fundraising.
Seed CX, a Chicago-based institutional crypto asset exchange startup, recently closed a $15 million Series B round. Previously raising Seed and Series A rounds from investors–including 500 Startups, iAngels, Divergence Digital Currency Fund and more–the Series B round was led by Bain Capital.
Seed CX is a registered swap execution facility, introducing broker, money services business and money transmitter (in over a dozen states). The exchange also has a pending BitLicense with the New York Department of Financial Services. Leading Seed CX are co-founders Brian Liston and Edward Woodford, who both attended MIT and have previously founded startups.
Oregon Blockchain Venture Studio
R/GA Ventures, Nike, Oregon Health & Science University, Business Oregon and Smith & Crown have partnered to create the Oregon Blockchain Venture Studio. The Portland-based venture studio will receive $3 million a year from investors to foster 20-30 companies over the next three years.
Providing both financial and human capital, venture studios offer a mixture of the services typically offered by traditional venture capital firms, incubators, and accelerators. Oregon Blockchain Venture Studio aims to use blockchain to solve issues in business and policy, while helping Oregon become a leading state in this emerging technology.
Ripe Technology (also known as Ripe.io), a San Francisco-based startup creating a digital food supply chain, recently closed a $2.4 million seed round. Participants in the round included food innovation hub Relish Works and logistics company Maersk Line.
Ripe Technology is using blockchain technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) to create the “Blockchain of Food”–an unparalleled food quality network that tracks what is in our food, it’s origin and anything that has happened to it. Spearheading Ripe Technology is CEO and co-founder Raja Ramachandran, a serial executive and former banker.
Nodle, a San Francisco-based connectivity service provider, recently closed a $1.5 million seed round. Participants in the round included Mark Pincus, Blockhead Capital, Blockchange Ventures, BootstrapLabs, Yeoman’s Capital and Olymp Capital.
Using smartphones as a base station, Nodle leverages blockchain to offer economical and energy efficient connectivity for the IoT. Leading Nodle is CEO and co-founder Michael Benoliel, a serial technology entrepreneur.
SmartUp, a Hong Kong-based blockchain incubation company, has recently closed a corporate round of an undisclosed size. Participating in the round were DCapital and Soul Capital.
SmartUp lowers the barriers to entry for entrepreneurs in the blockchain space, providing global startup projects with access to investors and talent around the world. SmartUp also recently launched its APAC Blockchain Investment Alliance that will offer superior support for the incubator and its portfolio companies.
Ribbit Capital, a U.S.-based venture capital firm, is aiming to raise $420 million for its latest fund, according to a recent SEC filing. Ribbit Capital is an investor in the crypto and blockchain space, with notable investments in Coinbase and Robinhood.
Per Ribbit Capital’s mantra, the venture capital firm is focused on creating a new world with emerging technologies including financial software, Bitcoin and more. Keep an eye out for investments from Ribbit Capital in the blockchain space.
That concludes another eventful week in blockchain venture capital.
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