Blockchain Startup Origin Protocol Raises $28.5M USD in Funding

Announcements, Investing | April 26, 2018 By:

California-based blockchain startup Origin Protocol has raised $28.5 million in a strategy sale round.

Origin Protocol’s strategy sale round was offered to a select group that would help bring the Origin vision to reality, including Foundation Capital, former Y Combinator partner Garry Tan, Reddit CEO Alexis Ohanian, AngelList’s top syndicate lead Gil Penchina, Protocol Labs investor Kamal Ravikant, Uber’s founding advisor and early angel Steve Jang, and Akamai founder Randall Kaplan.

The company said that even though the participating investors were people they already knew through their personal networks, they had one-on-one conversations with each investor to ensure they were committed to delivering additional value beyond their capital contributions.

In addition to leading cryptocurrency VC and hedge fund Pantera Capital, the company also welcomes traditional investors. These include BlockTower Capital, 1kx fund, FBG, Hashed, Smart Contract Japan, Kenetic Capital, Red Robot, Danhua Capital, Continue Capital, PreAngel Fund, Spartan Group, Iconic, Beyond Blocks, and KBW Ventures.

“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,” said Matthew Liu, Co-founder of Origin Protocol. “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”

Launched in June 2017, Origin Protocol is the brainchild of founders Matthew Liu, an early YouTube employee, and Josh Fraser, a successful serial entrepreneur who has previously lead his teams to notable exits (including Torbit, a major acquisition by Walmart Labs). The startup is building an open-source platform that enables the creation of peer-to-peer, decentralized marketplaces.

Based on the ethereum blockchain, Origin’s open-source protocols for user identity, reputation, listings, dispute management, and more allow buyers and sellers to meet, communicate, and transact on the blockchain. The company’s goals are to reduce transaction fees, promote free and transparent commerce, and redistribute value from rent-seeking middlemen to individual buyers and sellers.

Since launching last year, the company claims that it 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.

“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,” the company said. “Buyers and sellers can discover each other, browse listings, make bookings, leave ratings and reviews, and much more.”