Gem, a California-based blockchain platform, has closed $7.1 million in Series A funding led by Pelion Venture Partners and including Digital Currency Group, KEC Ventures, Blockchain Capital, Birchmere Labs, RRE Ventures, Tamarisk Global, Drummond Road Capital, Tekton Ventures, Amplify.LA, Danmar Capital and angel investor James Joaquin.
The funding allows Gem to expand its API to create a modular platform for blockchain applications for use cases across multiple industries.
The ‘Blockchain Economy’ Rises
“We believe this technology will transform how we collaborate and share value,” Gem noted in its blog. Gem believes blockchain networks will support entire industries, producing a “blockchain economy.” The blockchain economy will provide the underlying architecture for supply chains, capital markets, logistics, patient care, property rights, digital rights management and more.
The blockchain economy will bring collaboration between those who know blockchains and those who know their industries. Gem’s role is to partner with individuals and companies to simplify this collaboration and protect investments.
Gem’s technology breaks down data silos, synchronizes changes in real-time, automates work flows, improves security, ensures data integrity and reduces reporting costs.
Investors See Big Potential
Dahl said Pelion Venture Partners has been monitoring the blockchain industry and has been seeking a company that could bridge the gap between enabling developers and their projects while advancing blockchain use cases in bigger enterprises, according to International Business Times.
Gem launched at the TechCrunch Disrupt SF Startup Battlefield in 2014. Since it launched its multi-signature API for developers, the company now works to promote integrating blockchain technology in data-reliant industries, finance and health care.
Micah Winkelspecht, CEO of Gem, explained multi-signature technology in a CCN.com interview in December of 2014. Multi-signature refers to more than one key being required to initiate a transaction. Multi-signature technology offers a solution to the vulnerability of single-signature transactions. He noted that just under 10% of all bitcoins in existence have been lost or stolen – and multi-signature technology presents a potential solution to this problem.
Gem’s API enables a developer to configure a custom app. A developer who is not familiar with the technicalities of building multi-factor authentication can use Gem’s platform to activate two-factor authentication.
Gem makes its API available to developers in different programming languages. The API can be implemented in under 10 lines of code. Gem allows developers to build apps without having expertise in security, cryptography, or the underlying Bitcoin protocol.
Gem’s Board Expands
Ben Dahl, a partner at Pelion Venture Partners, and Scott Kriz, CEO at Bitium, have joined Gem’s board of directors. The company has also expanded its board of observers which now includes Howard Morgan, co-founder of First Round Capital, Jeff Parkinson, a partner at KEC Ventures, and Jai Choi, founder of Tekton Ventures.
A recent report by Magister Advisors, an investment bank, said nearly $1 billion in funding has been invested in the blockchain and bitcoin ecosystems since 2013, with an additional $1.7 billion expected by 2017.
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