OB1, the company behind the Bitcoin-powered digital marketplace OpenBazaar, announced today the completion of a $3,000,000 funding round that saw participation from Union Square Ventures (USV), Andreessen Horowitz and BlueYard Capital.
This new round of funding brings the total invested in OB1 to $4 million. In April of 2015, $1 million was injected into OB1 from USV, Horowitz and angel investor William Mougayar, to get OpenBazaar up and running.
OpenBazaar essentially allows eBay-style online commerce without the need for a corporate intermediary.
The press release states:
“By removing the intermediaries for commerce online, OpenBazaar enables its users to avoid paying fees or having their trade controlled by middlemen. OpenBazaar has been used by tens of thousands of people internationally since its launch in April of this year.”The project is open-source and the new funding will be used by OB1 to expand the functionality of platform and to roll out the new OpenBazaar 2.0, which will use the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS) for storing and maintaining listings.
OpenBazaar’s success over the past year was sufficient to prompt further investment from USV, “The reach and diversity of OpenBazaar usage shows the potential for decentralized applications: within a week of its release, buyers and sellers from 129 countries joined the network and began transacting with each other for free,” explained Brad Burnham, managing partner at USV.
The Berlin-based BlueYard Capital is also a firm supporter of the decentralization movement and backed OB1 to help bring the OpenBazaar platform into the mainstream, “If OB1 can develop OpenBazaar into a marketplace that is suitable for mainstream adoption and provide a substantially better business proposition to merchants and buyers, it could become a superior trade platform for large global markets,” states BlueYard Capital.
While the recently-formed, $120-million BlueYard Capital fund has only just started to back bitcoin startups, USV & Andreessen Horowitz have been pouring millions into the digital currency space over the last two years. More recently, Union Square Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz placed $10 million into cryptocurrency-focused hedge fund Polychain Capital.