A startup incubator based in Santa Monica, California, is launching an initial coin offering (ICO) aimed to raise as much as $100 million to support a new blockchain-focused initiative.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Science – best known for its early investment in Dollar Shave Club (which was sold to consumer goods giant Unilever last year for $1 billion) – is launching a new incubation program called Science Blockchain, which will be funded by the ICO. Per the Journal, the incubator is reportedly eyeing a range of between $50 million and $100 million, though Science has not officially confirmed this figure.
Though details such as the start date for the token sale aren't immediately clear, the news is the latest sign that the traditional venture capital world is taking note of the new fundraising model and changing the way in which VCs invest in startups.
VC-funded startups are also looking to token sales seeking new ways of raising cash. Messenger startup Kik, for example, (which has raised more than $120 million in VC funding to date), is preparing to launch an ethereum-based token for a planned ICO as part of a wider plan to create a digital services marketplace.
The ICO model is not without its controversies, however. While proponents say it reduces barriers to capital access, critics argue it can serve to perpetuate scams. Further, the spectre of enforcement of securities regulations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was raised with the issuance of a report on blockchain tokens last week.
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Editor's Note: This article and its headline have been updated for clarity.