Virtual bitcoin incubator Seedcoin has announced its latest funding round for bitcoin startups – and the participants are more diverse than ever.
There are seven firms in this round, which the company has labelled Seedcoin Fund 2 (SF2).
One of the firms, the Bitcoin Transaction Network, is compiling a range of transaction services into an end-to-end financial transaction network for the digital currency. It will provide ATM, wallet and prepaid card services, in addition to transaction processing and exchange facilities. It wants to do this on a global basis, with a network of partners.
Quantave will provide market data to institutional traders from exchanges via an API. The company, now in stealth mode, will also offer quantitative analysis and a free trading platform.
Currently in the alpha stage, Global Coin FX is a UK-based virtual currency exchange, while Ignite Financing is a leasing firm for bitcoin ATMs, described as a 'bolt-on provider' for ATM manufacturers.
BTCTrip is a travel and leisure platform providing travel bookings in return for bitcoin rather than fiat payments, including flight and hotel reservations. In addition, BiTnews Media is a video news platform focused on decentralized technologies, ranging from digital currencies to 3D printing to peer-to-peer energy grids.
A more diverse offering
One thing that stands out about SF2 is the increased diversity of business models and companies. The last round didn't have financing or video news firms, and no one in that cohort was tackling established sectors such as travel.
"When we started Seedcoin last July, most of the startups contacting us were exchanges, payment processors and wallets," said Hong Kong-based Eddy Travia, co-founder of Seedcoin, who is operating the company with UK-based CTO Hakim Mamoni, and chief funding officer Alexis Nicosia, located in Singapore.
"We were pleased to help these essential elements of the bitcoin ecosystem infrastructure, but now we are approached by entrepreneurs not necessarily from a crypto or tech background."
SF2 is worth 2,000 BTC ($982,500 at the time of writing), which will be sold off in four chunks of 500 BTC each, starting on Tuesday, and ending on 22nd June. These bitcoins will be divided into 2 million units, worth a thousandth of a bitcoin (0.001 BTC) each.
Seedcoin takes a 10% cut of the funding, and holds back another 10% for follow-up investment in the startups that are participating in SF2.
Like SF1, participants may see future dividends, according to the prospectus, but any companies that pay out will do so directly to unit holders, rather than via SF2, and each company will have its own policy on this.
Travia wasn't fazed by the relatively flat performance of SF1, which opened at the same price (0.001 BTC) on 9th December, and closed at 0.0008 yesterday.
Said Travia, who signed the seventh participant for SF1 – BTC.sx – at the start of this month:
"We have been mainly dealing with the investment logistics, but are now more active with new investors looking at the startups, potential partnerships and so forth."
SF2 was meant to have been launched in March, but Seedcoin experienced delays. Explained Travia:
"There are many elements to our involvement with the startups. We prefer to confirm and make sure all parties are in agreement before listing. Dealing with seven new startups is not a small task, even for the three of us."
Unlike SF1, the startup companies listed at launch will be the final list of participants. No more will be added later.
Coin and plant image via Shutterstock