Swirlds Raises $3M Seed Round to Bring Improved Performance, Security to Distributed Ledger Applications

NEA Leads Investment in Hashgraph Distributed Consensus Platform Company

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Swirlds, creators of the hashgraph distributed consensus platform, today announced that the company has closed on a $3M seed round led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA).

Since launching last year, the Swirlds platform has rapidly gained traction across a wide swath of categories from gaming to online collaboration to financial services, with pilot programs underway in some of the world’s largest financial consortia and technology companies. The funds will be used to accelerate platform development and drive adoption in key sectors where security and performance are paramount.

“The ways in which organizations and individuals transact is steadily being disrupted, with distributed ledger platforms capturing an ever-growing share of the pie despite significant security and performance hurdles with first-generation technologies,” said Mance Harmon, Swirlds Founder and CEO. “Our hashgraph algorithm offers a radically different approach than existing consensus technologies, enabling enterprises and developers to build and run fully distributed applications that are reliable, fair and secure.”

Until now, consensus technologies have fallen into one of two categories:  public networks, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, or private (permissioned) solutions that use Leader-based consensus algorithms, such as HyperLedger, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, and R3 Corda. Both have critical shortcomings.

Public networks are expensive to run and have performance constraints resulting from Proof of Work, dramatically limiting the number of applications that can practically use the technology.

Private networks, restrict usage to known and trusted participants. This approach reduces cost and improves performance dramatically, with algorithms capable of achieving 1000 transactions per second compared to seven for Bitcoin. However, relaxed security standards make these networks inherently susceptible to DDoS attacks, which are steadily becoming cheaper and easier to conduct.

Swirlds’ hashgraph algorithm, which requires neither Proof of Work nor a Leader, eliminates the constraints inherent in both public and private networks and delivers low-cost, exceptional performance with no single point of failure. This combination of security and performance enables a new defense against DDoS attacks, even those that leverage IoT devices, while delivering performance of 100,000s of transactions per second.

“The Swirlds hashgraph platform is fundamentally different from other distributed ledger platforms, enabling some of the world’s leading financial and technology businesses to really build, run and scale distributed ledger applications with far greater confidence,” said Tony Florence, General Partner, NEA. “This capability will be increasingly critical, and Swirlds has the potential to be a dominant player in that transformation with its hashgraph platform.”

The patented hashgraph consensus algorithm, developed by Swirlds Co-Founder and CTO Leemon Baird, uses an entirely new protocol to enable distributed and decentralized communities to reach consensus in a fast and secure way.  The hashgraph algorithm is resilient to DDoS attacks and ensures mathematically proven fairness in the absolute ordering of transactions.  Further technical details of the hashgraph algorithm can be found at the resources below:

Swirlds CEO Mance Harmon will be speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco next Tuesday, September 19th.  Hashgraph by Swirlds will also be one of the technologies used in the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon on September 16th and 17th. Interested participants can register at https://disruptsf2017.devpost.com/details/apis. 

Swirlds is a platform to build and run shared worlds — fully distributed applications that harness the power of the cloud without servers.  Applications built on the Swirlds platform create trust in peer-to-peer networks without a central server, leveraging the hashgraph consensus algorithm to deliver high transaction throughput, low consensus latency, and fairness in transaction order. Rapidly gaining traction across a wide swath of categories from gaming to online collaboration to financial services, Swirlds is building the trust layer of the internet by enabling developers to create fair, fast and secure applications.   www.swirlds.com | @Swirlds.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder of industry publication Blockchain News, partner at ICO services collective CryptoAsset Design Group (helped raise over $200m+), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) and ICO event organiser at leading industry event  CryptoFinancing (first ICO event in Europe) – Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of half a dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1200 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat.
 
Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London, Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, San Mateo, Shanghai,Tel Aviv and Venice. His network is global and extensive.
 
He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He’s written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French.
 
A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein’s professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he’s travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world.
 
In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Seas’ travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he’s raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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