Blockstream’s Chief Instigator (CEO), Austin Hill, has revealed in a post on the company’s blog that it raised an additional $55 million in a Series A funding round, taking total investments in the company to $76 million. Hill said that the goal of the new funds are to enhance sidechain technology, expand operations globally, and support new industry partnerships.
Hill said that during Q4 2015 they decided to accelerate the Series A financing despite having more than the initial seed investments remaining, because Blockstream’s manpower doubled and they moved out of AirBNB accommodations and into actual offices. According to him: “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.”
The funding round was led by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures, French insurance giant AXA’s Strategic Ventures, and Japanese venture capital fund Digital Garage. As part of the round, Frances Kang from Horizons joined Blockstream’s Board of Directors.
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“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.”
The idea of the sidechains which the firm is promoting is to create an entire ecosystem of alternative, interoperable blockchains supporting the decentralized transfer of digital property. In October 2015 Blockstream unveiled its first commercial sidechain solution, Liquid.