Blockchain nodes-as-a-service startup Blockdaemon announced Thursday that the company closed a seed round for $3.275 million led by telecommunications giant Comcast Ventures.
This round was joined by a number of enterprise venture capital outfits, including Boldstart Ventures, MState (backed by IBM Corp. and Comcast) and Plug and Play as well as a number of Silicon Valley angel investors.
The company uses cloud-based infrastructure to implement and deploy distributed ledger blockchain nodes rapidly for companies looking to run their own private and public blockchains. The technology allows businesses to build their own multichain and multicloud networks with faster deployment times and lower costs.
Unlike many other blockchain startups in the industry, Blockdaemon went with venture capital instead of a crowdsale or initial coin offering.
“We chose a VC round, over a crowdsale, to ensure we have investors with real enterprise chops on deck that can help us run a focused agile development process,” said Konstantin Richter, chief executive of Blockdaemon.
Initial coin offering crowdsales for funding blockchain ventures boomed in 2017, according to a report from CB Insights. The glut of crowdfunding capital led to an estimate in excess of $5 billion in funds raised. Venture capital did not falter either, even with the abundance of crowdfunding opportunities, with an estimate of $1 billion raised, up from $545 in 2016.
This is not the first time that Comcast has dipped its toes into the blockchain ecosystem with funding. In January, Comcast joined IBM in backing MState, a blockchain startup fund that’s also funding Blockdaemon, with the intent to seed the blockchain industry with funds to accelerate growth. The telecommunications company also partnered with NBCUniversal and Walt Disney Co. as part of a project to build out a blockchain-based TV ad platform with the Blockchain Insights Platform.
The concept behind Blockdaemon’s service is simple: provide the infrastructure and the back end to allow businesses to deploy blockchain nodes connected to private — self-owned and managed — or public blockchains quickly with little or no effort.
Richter said companies looking to deploy their own blockchains could be looking at months of work, outside research and planning, to get infrastructure up and running. With the Blockdaemon platform, a company can launch a private blockchain in the cloud in minutes rather than weeks, giving more developers the opportunity to rapidly prototype projects against their preferred blockchain network.
“Developer productivity in large enterprises is a major factor in driving innovation and key to that is making infrastructure invisible,” said Ed Sim, managing partner at Boldstart Ventures. “Blockdaemon’s nodes as a service is a first of its kind platform in the blockchain market, allowing developers to deploy nodes on any blockchain on any cloud in minutes instead of weeks and months.”
Currently, Blockdaemon provides support for deploying public nodes that can connect to both the bitcoin blockchain and the Ethereum blockchain with the click of a few buttons. As for private nodes, business and enterprise developers can choose between platforms built on Ethereum, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Quorum or the Linux Foundation’s Hyperledger.
To make things even easier for blockchain-hungry business, developers can pay for their nodes in the traditional way – with terrestrial money and credit cards – or they can pay with blockchain-based cryptocurrency, including bitcoin. Ethereum and Zcash.