ConsenSys Ventures, the venture arm of the ConsenSys Ethereum blockchain powerhouse, has invested in a new round of five companies and is today formally launching its Accelerator.
The five companies were invested in with a “combination of equity and tokens together. It was a unique termsheet created by Consensys Ventures in accordance with the SEC rules,” according to Kavita Gupta (pictured), the founding managing partner of ConsenSys and the lead on their Blockchain focused fund which is investing in an Ethereum powered “Web 3.0” startups.
She went on to elaborate to me on the thinking behind these investments: “It’s very important for us to invest into companies that both embody the ethos of decentralization while also pushing the Ethereum ecosystem forward. In this crop of investments, you can see projects that represent the globalization of financial systems on blockchain (Cryptomarket), create innovative solutions to bring institutions into the space (Virtuoso) bring power and monetization back to artists (Dada), democratize the ability to participate in the proof of stake (Rocket Pool) and show the bright minds of traditional tech who are now choosing to bring Ethereum mobile (Vault).”
ConsenSys’ Accelerator is also coming out of the gate too, as, Gupta says, to “connect the traditional Web 2.0 world with the technically complex Ethereum ecosystem.”
The 8week accelerator program will see a cohort of 8-10 projects work towards building an MVP and work towards raising a successful round of pre-seed/seed funding.
The program will bring on advisors from traditional 21st-century technology unicorns like Google/Uber/Fb/Salesforce etc. and combine their expertise with the talent and Ethereum know-how at ConsenSys. The program will feature hands-on education, mentorship, open office hours and will feature demo days both in the US and Europe.
Here’s quick overview of next 5 companies Consensys Ventures has invested in, in their own words:
“Founded by the team behind TrueEx – the leading electronic interest rate swap platform – Virtuoso is building a cryptocurrency exchange that will support ether futures, creating a more robust Ethereum trading market for institutional investors.”
“Ink is a decentralized reputation and payment protocol looking to bring transferrable reputation to P2P marketplaces founded by Gee Chuang. It is live on the Listia platform and plans to expand to other P2P marketplaces where lack of reputation is a major driver for centralization.”
“Vault is a secure wallet and dApp discovery platform for your mobile device, founded by ex-Facebook employee John Egan and his team. The team launched Vault after looking into wallet options, and feeling frustrated from a usability standpoint, specifically as they explored mobile options. Vault is focused on building out two primary features in the short term: 1) the best and most user friendly mobile wallet and 2) a dApp browser.”
Rocket Pool is a next-generation Ethereum Proof of Stake pool for Casper, currently in Alpha and based in Australia. Started by David Rugendyke, Rocket Pool allows individuals and businesses to stake as little as .1 ether and avoid extensive withdrawal times and gain exposure to Ethereum’s move to Proof-of-Stake.
“CryptoMKT is a Latin American based Ethereum exchange and leader in Chile and Argentina, and are expanding to be a leader in other South American markets. Founded by Rafael Meruane and Martin Jofre, the team has bootstrapped to-date and have traded over $30M in ETH over the last year.”
“DADA is a social network for digital art where people interact with digital drawings founded by Beatriz Ramos. Currently, DADA offers a collection of 100 limited edition digital drawings (all made within the DADA platform via the provided drawing tools) which is available for purchase with Ether via the MetaMask wallet. Each digital artwork available for purchase is tokenized, with each token representing ownership over a copy of the drawing. DADA’s goal is to allow artists to have full control over their work and earn a universal basic income from their work.”