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CB Insights:2017年第一季度区块链新兴企业融资全面回暖

2017年第一季度,区块链新兴企业连续三个季度融资交易数上升。

围绕比特币加密货币ETF上市的纷争不断,代币销售也正如火如荼,但这一切并没有阻碍投资者重振旗鼓,坚持对这一领域的浓厚兴趣。与前一季度相比,2017年第一季度区块链新兴企业投资交易量与交易额都呈上升趋势。以太坊是一个智能合约网络,旨在建立分散式应用平台。以太坊宣布建立企业以太坊联盟,即发展以太坊实用商业的顶级技术企业及集团联盟。随着这一消息宣布,以太坊获得显著发展。

区块链利用密码学进行安全保障,同时利用分布式账本,作为流行的密码货币比特币技术已经率先发展起来。加密货币公司(包括我们定义中的区块链公司)依靠区块链框架作为基础,提供有关加密货币交易、储存或使用的生产或服务,同时区块链公司提供区块链领域内或跨领域的应用解决方法。

我们使用CB Insights数据、分析方法及其他重要标准,对本领域该季度融资趋势进行了归总。

交易量与交易额

值得注意的是,2017年第一季度区块链新兴企业融资交易量连续三个季度上升,融资额也在三个季度下降后回升。2017年第一季度融资交易量达41笔,总额达1.41亿美元,自2016年第二季度以来,交易量季度环比平均增长16%。

本季度最大的一笔融资花落BitFury,BitFury获得中国信贷控股有限公司3000万美元C轮投资。BitFury初期为比特币挖掘公司,提供硬件及其他服务,如今公司向比特币咨询领域发展,近期还帮助格鲁吉亚的城市完成了资产及荣誉记录区块链化。传统比特币公司依赖于迎合对区块链商业应用感兴趣、财力雄厚的大公司,而这一变化可反映出这一领域发展更加成熟。

不同阶段交易分配

观察2017年第一季度不同阶段完成的融资可以看出,种子投资与天使投资比例由16年第四季度的52%上升至17年第一季度的54%。

值得注意,相当数目的种子投资及天使投资数量增长在众卖(crowdsale),即首次货币发行(ICO)领域。Qtum是一家为企业提供智能合约、区块链兼容的公司,在一次ICO中最多获1600万美元融资。ICO仍存在常见的难题,即公司一旦“上市”,投资人就可能会在破产中遭受损失。另外,虽然区块链被互联网本身的节点“管理”,但诸如比特币、以太坊等区块链缺少行政管理机构,这些公司产生破产、欺诈或其他非法活动时,投资者和政府缺少明确适用的解决手段。

媒体趋势

最后,我们根据媒体文章提及数量,使用CB Insights趋势工具测量、比较媒体对几个关键词(1) 区块链、(2)比特币、(3) 以太坊 的兴趣趋势。

毫无意外,提及比特币及以太坊的文章随各自价格而上升。值得注意的是专门关注区块链的文章数目上升。这意味着媒体开始更加关注技术本身潜在的作用,而非仅仅关注比特币。

Q1'17 saw blockchain startup deals rise for the third consecutive quarter.

Even as debates around scaling bitcoin, cryptocurrency ETFs, and token sales rage on, it isn’t slowing renewed investor interest in the space. Q1’17 blockchain startup investment deals and dollars trended up on a quarterly basis. Notably, ethereum — a smart-contract enabled network that seeks to be the platform of choice for the development of decentralized applications — has seen real growth with its announcement of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance, a consortium of top tech firms and corporations advancing ethereum business use-cases.

Blockchains are cryptographically secured, distributed ledgers, first developed as the underlying technology of the popular cryptocurrency, bitcoin. Cryptocurrency-focused companies, which we include within our blockchain definition, offer products or services related to the trading, storing, or usage of cryptocurrencies and rely on an underlying blockchain infrastructure, while blockchain-focused companies develop solutions that apply blockchain technology across sectors and verticals.

We used CB Insights data and analytics to highlight quarterly financing trends to the sector, as well as other key metrics.

Deals and dollars

Of note, Q1’17 saw blockchain startup investment deals rise for the third consecutive quarter, while funding rebounded after a three-quarter drop. In total, Q1’17 saw $141M invested across 41 deals, and the number of deals has grown an average of 16% quarter-over-quarter since Q2’16.

The largest financing of the quarter went to BitFury, which closed a $30M Series C from China Credit Limited Holdings. Started as a bitcoin mining company providing hardware and other services, BitFury has expanded into blockchain consulting and recently helped the country of Georgia put property and title records onto a blockchain. This might reflect broader maturation in the sector, as traditionally bitcoin-focused companies pivot to cater to bigger players (with deeper pockets) interested in exploring blockchain business use-cases.

Deal share by stage

Looking at the stages at which financings closed in Q1’17, the percentage of seed and angel deals rose from 52% in Q4’16, to 54% in Q1’17.

Of note, a number of seed and angel financings raised money in equity crowdsales, or initial coin offerings (ICO). Qtum is one such company, and raised approximately $16M in an ICO to offer a smart-contract compatible blockchain for businesses. ICOs remain a regulatory conundrum, as companies “go public” from day one, potentially increasing investor losses in the event of bankruptcy. Additionally, blockchains — such as bitcoin and ethereum — lack any administrative governing bodies (blockchains are “governed” by nodes on the network itself), and investors and governments lack clear recourse processes in the event of bankruptcies, fraud, or other illegitimate activity.

Media trends

Lastly, we compared a few keywords — (1) blockchain, (2) bitcoin, and (3) ethereum — using CB Insights Trends tool to gauge how interest in the sector has been trending, based on media article mentions.

Not surprisingly, articles mentioning bitcoin and ethereum have risen largely in line with their respective prices. Also of note is the rise of blockchain-specific articles. This could indicate a growing appreciation for the technology’s potential impact, regardless of bitcoin.


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