According to CBInsights’ latest report on blockchain startup investments in 2019, despite a drop in total funding dollars, investment activity in the fourth quarter of 2019 points toward pockets of opportunities for blockchain technology adoption in enterprise applications. The report also stated that total equity funding to the space, a measure of investor enthusiasm, fell by over 30% last year, with mentions of the technology in public earnings transcripts also exhibiting a drop.
The report pointed out that while entrepreneurs have pitched countless use-cases for blockchain technology, ranging from supply chain tracking to financial asset settlement, the only one that has found substantial adoption is cryptocurrency creation and trading.
2019 also saw a 28% drop in investor funding from 2018’s peak at $4.3 billion. The top two fundraisers in 2018 were cryptocurrency mining hardware company Bitmain, and San Francisco-based exchange Coinbase, who raised $400 million and $322 million, respectively.
As of Q4 2019, companies had raised $785M across 164 deals, representing a 36% decline from the fourth quarter one year prior. However, though lower than 2018 numbers by a stretch, “the quarter still outperformed Q1 and Q2 in 2019, with investor interest pointing specifically towards enterprise applications.”
Enterprise payments network, Ripple raised the highest amount last quarter, with a $200 million Series C round from SBI Group, Tetragon Financial Group and Route 66 Ventures. This brought Ripple’s valuation to around $10 billion.
Figure Technologies came in second, raising $103 million to continue growing their blockchain-based platform, Provenance, which enables to company to provide home equity loans in as fast as five minutes. Digital Asset also managed to raise $35 million to support its Digital Asset Modeling Language (DAML) for faster financial asset settlement, and PeerNova raised $31M for market expansion and product development.
Layer1 also reportedly raised $50 million in 2019’s final quarter to build a solar and wind-powered Bitcoin mining facility in West Texas.