OB1, the development company behind decentralized online marketplace OpenBazaar, has raised $5 million in a Series A funding round
According to a press release, investors in the round include Chinese bitcoin mining giant Bitmain and Canadian VC firm OMERS Ventures.
While some blockchain companies see initial coin offerings as an alternative to traditional fundraising, players like OB1 clearly welcome both. Alongside the new VC funding, the startup still plans to launch its own token later this year, as announced at the Token Summit in San Francisco last December.
Also announced today, the platform will launch a verified moderators program later this week.
OB1 said in the release:
“Our plans for this year include releasing web and mobile versions of the application, as well as giving users new ways to trade with each other, such as making requests and buying and selling cryptocurrencies.”
The team added support for bitcoin cash and zcash in February. The goal for its own upcoming token is to address pain points across the platform, and ultimately the industry.
“You have this massive amount of content that people are just dumping onto the decentralized web or into OB,” the firm’s CEO, Brian Hoffman, told International Business Times. “And there’s no Google there to clean it up and serve it up nicely and organize it.”
“I think our first step is to look at how a token could allow merchants and advertisers to create compelling content and help build businesses,” he said.
Ambitious though these plans may be, the startup’s investors include some of the biggest names in the cryptocurrency industry.
Bitmain is the newest high-profile addition to a list that already boasted Andreessen Horowitz and angel investor William Mougayar.
Correction: This article has been amended to reflect that OpenBazaar has not yet integrated litecoin.