Blockchain Venture Capital Funding Reaches $822 Million in 2019

Outlier Venture’s State of Blockchain report identifies steady building for blockchains in spite of bear market conditions

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Leading blockchain and Web 3.0 venture capital firm Outlier Ventures today published its State of Blockchains Q2 report providing an overview of blockchain investment and market trends in 2019. According to the report, blockchain start-ups raised $822 Million from 279 separate VC deals during the first half of this year (1).  159 of the total 279 deals related to blockchains, were seed stage ones.  This indicates that entrepreneurial zeal in the ecosystem has not declined in spite of the bear market

Enterprises are no longer building proofs of concepts for the industry. They are increasingly embracing the ethos of the industry by rolling out fully developed open-source projects and contributing to the community’s overall traction and growth. EY, JP Morgan and Target have each released open-source code over the past six months, highlighting blockchain use cases in the financial services and retail sectors

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Lawrence Lundy-Bryan, Partner and Head of Research at Outlier Ventures comments:

“Compared to the outsized performance of the 2018 bull market, large venture capital raises within the blockchain space have diminished in frequency. However, cryptocurrency exchanges despite increased regulatory activity continue to be a strong favourite for investors – Bithumb exchange alone raised $200 million.

“Another macro-trend we are witnessing is direct investments into protocols in exchange for both tokens and equity. Exchange Listings in the form of Initial Exchange Offerings (IEOs) have begun capturing public attention over the first half of this year. They are a resurgence of the ICO model, with exchanges offering immediate liquidity to digital asset holders through a listing.”

Looking Ahead…

The inflection point for blockchain and crypto assets more generally may be here with the announcement of Facebook’s Libra. Over 100 different enterprises, each contributing $10 million to back the project, are reported to be collaborating on bringing its own native cryptocurrency, which some refer to as a more restricted form of digital currency, to the global masses. Whilst concerns about misuse of user data and loss of privacy continue, Facebook’s very public commitment  promises some much needed legitimacy to the space.

Jamie Burke, CEO at Outlier Ventures comments:

‘’The Facebook Libra initiative has polarised the crypto industry. On the one hand they and their partners bring some much needed legitimacy to the space after the craziness of ICOs and of course the promise of billions of users. However, many feel what is being proposed is more of a Web 2.5 incremental innovation which stops short of the true potential of cryptocurrencies. Furthermore, there is a deep mistrust of Facebook’s intentions and their ability to resist the holy grail of connecting the financial data of Libra with the social data of their media platforms.”

The recently published State of Blockchains 2019 Q2 report from Outlier Ventures is available to download at https://outlierventures.io/research/state-of-blockchains-q2-2019-blockchain-founders-raise-over-822-million-by-q2/

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 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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