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Business Observer Monday, Jan. 3, 2022 8 months ago

Tech, blockchain firm reels in nearly $6M investment

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It’s the second multimillion-dollar investment for BlockSpaces in the past 10 months.   

TAMPA —Upstart tech company BlockSpaces, which helps companies connect to blockchains, has started the new year with an oversubscribed venture seed round, raising $5.75 million.

San Francisco-based investor Leadout Capital led the investment round, according to a Jan. 3 statement. Others participating in the investment include GTMfund, Tampa-based Druid Ventures and tech investor Mark Pincus, founder of mobile social gaming company, Zynga. The company, based in Embarc Collective in Tampa, also secured a major strategic investment from an undisclosed fintech VC firm, the release adds. As part of the funding round, Leadout Capital General Partner Steve Brownlie will join BlockSpaces’ board.

Courtesy. BlockSpaces co-founder Gabe Higgins.

This is the company’s second financing announcement since its initial $1.25 million seed round in March, bringing its total amount raised to just over $7.25 million. Rosa Shores and Gabe Higgins co-founded the company in 2017, initially to educate people and businesses about blockchain — a type of database used to organize and store information related to Bitcoin transactions, as well as other kinds of sensitive data. BlockSpaces, according to the statement, “provides a platform that eliminates steep barriers for businesses by allowing the easy integration of enterprise applications and blockchain networks while hiding the complexities associated with managing blockchain in a business environment.”

The company had a pivotal 2021, says Shores, growing revenue 40-fold, customers 20-fold and employees sevenfold. Specific growth figures weren’t disclosed. “We are pleased to have such incredible partners join us in our mission to make blockchain useful for business,” Shores says in the statement. Shores is also the CEO. “This latest infusion of capital will ensure that we continue to build world class blockchain connectivity and infrastructure for enterprises.  We are committed to a future where developing and integrating blockchain and distributed ledger technologies is easier, and our platform is the connector from Web 2.0 systems to Web 3.0 networks.”

The company intends to use the new funds to expand operational capacity, aggressively hire top talent, increase infrastructure support in major regions and expand its availability of new blockchains. “With the rapid growth we’re experiencing, we’ve been well-positioned to attract highly qualified and experienced team members who can handle the technical dynamics involved,” says Higgins, also the firm’s chief blockchain officer. “As we launch our expanded platform this year, we’ll be working closely with our strategic partners while continuing to expand our team to support the most sophisticated integration product in the market.  We’re confident that it will be a game-changer in making any blockchain easy and cost-effective for any business to use.”

Leadout Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm, is a returning investor in BlockSpaces, the release states. Other early insiders include Brighter Capital, BlockFund Ventures and Tampa tech entrepreneur Tony DiBenedetto.

“We are excited to continue to support the BlockSpaces team in building an infrastructure platform that will expand business access to blockchain-based [innovation],'' Brownlie, with Leadout, says in the statement.

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