Investment into Blockchain start-ups set to hit $3bn in 2017

The most actively invested sectors by values are, in order, payment infrastructure, wallets and mining, blockchain tech development, banking infrastructure and exchanges. The countries receiving most investment for startups are the US, the UK, Ireland, Singapore and China. The most actively invested initial coin offering countries are, in order, Switzerland, the US, Singapore, Russia and Estonia.

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Investment into Blockchain startups in 2017 should clear the $3bn mark by year’s end, according to a report out today by frontier technology market monitoring firm Novum Insights. Funding into Blockchain companies is already up 340% on 2016 to $2.4bn, with 25% coming from VC investment and 75% from ICOs.

In the report the data scientists and researchers at Novum Insights assembled a definitive list of 2138 start-ups which it is tracking in the Blockchain space. The report collected and analysed data using a mixture of APIs and data crawlers to track 973 investors, which have backed 826 companies.

Geographically, investment in Blockchain is being led by the US with $1.3bn invested and $1.35bn received, followed by the UK in second place, Ireland, Singapore and China.  The report shows payment infrastructure is the best funded sector, with companies having raised $512.9m to date, including businesses like Digital Asset and Ripple.  Other sectors seeing significant raises include wallets and mining and Blockchain tech development.

Digital Currency Group and Blockchain Capital share the top two spots respectively for most money invested and most rounds involved in, with the latter involved in 51 rounds worth $445m and Digital Currency Group involved in 89 rounds worth $413.2m. Series A rounds account for most deals, with a total of $756.6m invested.

Part of the excitement around the sector is being driven by a growing awareness of cryptocurrency among investors. Bitcoin, Ether and Litecoin have boomed in the last year, hitting a market capitalisation of $138bn.  Start-ups have also increasingly been turning to cryptocurrency as a way of raising funds through ICOs, seeing it as an alternative to seed and series A.

The report analyses 650 of these Initial Coin Offerings, totaling $2.3bn, including $252m into Filecoin and EOS receiving $233m.  In the first eight months of 2017 alone, ICOs have already raised a staggering $1.84bn, three times that of traditional venture capital investment in Blockchain startups.

Toby Lewis, chief executive of Novum Insights, said:

“Multi-million-dollar sums are being raised at significant speed, in sales of coins which in the past would have been raised from venture capitalists. The booming cryptocurrency markets have subsequently gifted start-ups with significant funds, and some investors with meaningful returns. At the same time however, many in the sector are raising concerns that the strong performance of ICOs and cryptocurrencies is unsustainable and anticipate a crash. The parallels to the dot-com boom of the 1990s seem irresistible, though for the moment it is a highly exciting bull run, with extreme volatility mixed in.”

Lewis, of Novum Insights, added:

“It is important to remember that it remains early days for the development of Blockchain as an industry, and there is still a lot of hype surrounding the market, though it seems likely, given the level of investment and technological innovation, that many companies in the sector will indeed go on to create significant value for business and society. For this reason, we think constant data vigilance of the sector is of the utmost importance. Our domain focus and forthcoming data product will provide the best means of understanding all start-up innovation in Blockchain and custom curated data deep-dives to unparalleled depths of industry and investment data.”

Find out more about Novum Insights at

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

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, 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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