Origin Protocol, a San Francisco-based startup that is building the infrastructure for a new decentralized sharing economy, has announced that the company has closed a $28.5 million strategic round from an all-star group of investors. The company, which looks to replace an industry of multi-million and even multi-billion-dollar companies with open source software, has already grown to an ecosystem of over 45 companies looking to build on top of their blockchain platform.
Since launching in June of 2017, Origin Protocol has grown to a community of over 22,000 people on Telegram and has commitments from over 45 companies that intend to build decentralized sharing economy applications that directly compete with giant companies like Uber and Airbnb. The growing list of projects ‘building on Origin’ have all adopted a model of blockchain decentralization that will allow for lower fees for the customer, better control of user data, stronger protections, more profit sharing for workers and more.
Origin empowers developers and businesses to build decentralized marketplaces directly on the blockchain by making it easy to create and manage listings for the fractional usage of assets and services. Buyers and sellers can discover each other, browse listings, make bookings, leave ratings and reviews, and much more.
“With a strong group of strategic investors behind us, the new capital will be used to continue to build out our world-class engineering, product, and business teams as we gear up for a full platform deployment. We’re also allocating capital to support our developer partners that are building on Origin and to find creative ways to give back to the community.”
The company confirmed that a group of traditional Silicon Valley investors and crypto funds have supported the project in a strategy sale round that was offered to a select group that would help bring the Origin vision to reality, including:
- Foundation Capital, venture investor in sharing economy companies like Uber, Luxe, and Peerspace
- Garry Tan, former Y Combinator partner and first investor in Coinbase and Instacart
- Alexis Ohanian, founder and former CEO of Reddit
- Gil Penchina, AngelList’s top syndicate lead
- Kamal Ravikant, an investor in Protocol Labs (creator of IPFS and Filecoin)
- Steve Jang, Uber’s founding advisor, and early angel
- Randall Kaplan, founder of Akamai
The traditional investors are joining an international group of top cryptocurrency investors, that include:
- BlockTower Capital, Turing Capital (United States)
- 1kx fund (Germany)
- FBG, Danhua Capital, Continue Capital, PreAngel Fund (China)
- Hashed (South Korea)
- Smart Contract Japan, Red Robot (Japan)
- Kenetic Capital (Hong Kong)
- BlockAsset, Spartan Group, Iconic, Beyond Blocks (Southeast Asia)
- KBW Ventures (Middle East)