A blockchain startup incubator has launched today (June 21), having raised $50 million to support fledgling businesses working with IOST.
Bluehill is headed up by Samantha Wang, IOST’s current CMO, and already boasts over 50 full-time staff across China, Korea, Singapore, US and Germany. It calls itself a “global network of talented individuals” established to support projects, DApp (decentralised application) development, and blockchain technology innovations.
Launched in 2017, the IOST protocol seeks to provide a scalable blockchain network for the Internet of Services, and Bluehill is hoping to corner the incubator market in efforts to compete for developers’ attention against more prominent platforms like Ethereum.
The group says applications are now open for startups on a “rolling basis”, and on average will invest $500k (£377k) into a project, with “both seed investments of $100k [£75k] and follow-on investments in the low millions”, as reported by Coindesk, while support can be directed at ‘advisorship’, operations, marketing, recruitment and industry partnerships.
“We are always on the lookout for entrepreneurs and developers with the most ambitious blockchain ideas,” reads the company’s mission statement; “Our goal at Bluehill is to help realise their dreams, and we look to invest in visionary and tenacious founders of any age.”
Wang, Bluehill’s CEO, said; “We’ve seen an upswell of interest from blockchain ecosystem developers looking to partner with the IOST network, as well as from DApp teams looking to develop on top of it.
“We will be creating a highly-supportive ecosystem to accelerate the most promising projects and strengthen the entire IOST network.”
So far, there are seven DApp startups on Bluehill’s portfolio, including Origo (privacy protection); Rate3 (cross-border payments); and Plair (gaming platform), and while all but one are built on IOST, the group says this is not necessarily a prerequisite for funding.
“Our focus is on backing the best teams early and aligning our interests with theirs right from the start so that we can build trust and familiarity with the most enduring companies,” Bluehill said.
The project has received support from a number of Chinese investors, including Sequoia China, ZhenFund, Huobi, Bixin and INBlockchain, and says it will work with Binance Labs and Huobi Capital when investing in companies.
It is now actively encouraging applications from blockchain startups seeking funding.