Boost VC announced today that it has closed a $6.6m funding round to accelerate 200 companies over three years, half of which will be focused on bitcoin.
Marc Andreessen, Ben Davenport, former American Online CEO Barry Schuler, Rothenberg Ventures, Maven II, Kilowatt Capital are among those that invested in the fund.
Boost founder and chief Adam Draper told CoinDesk that the fund’s investors are evidence of a trend of quality investors becoming drawn to the bitcoin space.
“Our goal is always to provide the companies with the best network to make their company the best it can be,” he said. “Our investors are keeping with that vision, and can provide experience and guidance and brand recognition for the startups.”
“Our focus over the past three years has been to find the most innovative people starting world changing companies. We are interested in everything from enterprise to rockets, 3D printing to bitcoin.”
Draper said that bitcoin is in “repair mode”, meaning that five years have passed of “playing with an incredible toy”, but that now is the time to fill in its gaps and fix its problems.
Scale, usability and security problems are all areas for opportunity in the bitcoin space, he said, adding that he believes there will be an increasing number of companies that emerge to build on these concerns. Fraper cited HashRabbit and BlockCypher as two such companies already addressing problems in the space.
“Other than that, companies that are focused on the block chain are high on our list, and then services surrounding bitcoin that support the ecosystem, but can also translate to other industries – these companies mostly are based in compliance.”
Draper pointed to Hedgy, Pylon and BlockScore as examples of such startups – all companies in Boost’s fourth ‘tribe’, which debuted at last week’s Demo Day following the completion of the California-based accelerator’s fourth session. In all 15 bitcoin-focused companies took part.
Notably, Draper’s grandfather and father, Bill and Tim Draper, also took part in the latest investment round, making Boost the first fund backed by three generations of venture capitalists.
Draper founded Boost VC in early 2011. Since then 69 companies have been accelerated via its program, 95% of which are still in business. Boost says it aims to have 250 companies in its portfolio by 2017.