Origin Protocol announces $28.5M strategic round

Origin Protocol, a San Francisco-based startup that is building the infrastructure for a new decentralized sharing economy, announced the closure of a $28.5 million strategic round from a 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 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 commitments from more than 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 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.

This week, the company announced 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, 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, including :

  • 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)

“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,” 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.”

Origin Protocol already has an existing prototype of their platform and has stated they will be releasing their public beta in the coming months.  They raised an initial $3 million advisor round led by Pantera Capital in 2017.