Blockstream has raised $21 million.
The large seed round was led by by LinkedIn cofounder and Airbnb board member Reid Hoffman, Khosla Ventures, and Canada’s own Real Ventures. Upward of 40 investors in total participated in the round, including Danny Hillis, Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, and Ribbit Capital.
“Blockstream is the first startup focused on advancements to the core technology underpinning Bitcoin,” writes CEO Austin Hill. “The hundreds of millions invested in Bitcoin startups over the past few years have been to companies building applications and services on top of Bitcoin. Blockstream is the first company extending the capabilities at the protocol level to support massive scaling of Bitcoin and blockchain technology to a broad range of asset types.”
“As Bitcoin evolves, Blockstream will play a huge role in helping it maintain its momentum, by making it easy to add new capabilities to the platform,” said Hoffman on LinkedIn.
“My co-founders and I are excited to be part of the growing technical and business community on the forefront of innovation in cryptocurrencies, open assets and smart contracts,” added Hill. “We’ve come together because we believe in the potential of this technology to have a significant, positive social impact.”
Hill founded Montreal-born Akoha in 2008, which shut down in August 2011. He was also closely involved in the launch of Real Ventures in 2007, which participated in Blockstream’s seed round.
Blockstream, also headquarted in Montreal, was founded by Hill, Matt Corallo, Mark Friedenbach, Francesca Hall, Gregory Maxwell, Erik Svenson, Jorge Timón, Adam Back, and Jonathan Wilkins.