Investment firm Two Hop Ventures is marking a total €1 million in startup funding for Bitcoin startups—just over a year since closing its first deal. It marked the milestone with investments in BSV application services startup Vaionex, and anti-theft bicycle marketplace BikeFair.
Based in Amsterdam, Two Hop Ventures launched in November 2019 with a mission to assist startups that leveraged BSV’s technological advantages. Its investments include companies that use BSV as a payment mechanism and/or assist others in doing so, take advantage of BSV’s vast data storage and processing capacity, and have found innovative use-cases for blockchain technology.
Last month, co-founder and general partner Alex Fauvel told CoinGeek the company had to cancel an Asian roadshow aimed at raising €40 million due to current restrictions on international travel. However with several aspects of the economy now stumbling back on track, he noted that “information is the most valuable and powerful thing in the information age.” The world may still have plenty of problems to solve, but often they’re problems BSV technology can help fix.
Jan Smit noted 2 factors which have notably increased investor interest in the BSV ecosystem. Firstly, the overall money inflow in digital currency over the last months and secondly, for BSV specifically, the introduction of HandCash 2.5 and the development of various token protocols. The latter has sparked many new developments of new and existing teams which has caught investor’s interest.
Two Hop’s latest investments
The two new investments were seed rounds in promising startups Vaionex and BikeFair. Two Hop was the lead investor in the Viaonex deal, as it has been with four of its seven investments. In addition, Two Hop also completed follow-on investments and new tranches in wallet companies Centbee and HandCash.
Viaonex was founded by students representing Cambridge University’s Metanet Society, led by Robin Kohze. It has developed five separate platforms aimed at making it easier for those in data science and blockchain to leverage the advantages of those technologies. These include Satolearn, a blockchain education platform aimed at bringing more new developers into BSV, a dynamic information platform based on the HIVE protocol called Raspora, on-chain database storage and management platform MetaShard, a place for developers to collaborate on (and monetise) their code called Block-Codes, and an API marketplace named ApiAndMe.
BikeFair‘s mission is more focused on a specific application. The company, also based in Amsterdam, wants to tackle that city’s problem with bicycle theft. While Amsterdam is famous for its use of bicycles as a primary means of getting around, it’s also famous for thousands of those bicycles being stolen every year. Those on lower incomes need to turn to the second-hand market to obtain their wheels… and that carries a huge risk of losing the bicycle if it’s later discovered to be stolen property (which, sadly, is often).
To solve this problem, BikeFair uses a database that tracks bicycle ownership using tamper-proof stickers attached to every bicycle. The system can record the bike’s current and past owners, as well as receive and hold buyers’ purchase deposits and arrange meetings between buyers and sellers. The idea came from co-founder Jan Pecnik’s own negative experience as a buyer as a university student, when he ended up paying extra for a bicycle that wasn’t the one he’d agreed to see, and which he later realized was stolen property.
Like last year, 2021 is going to be both unpredictable and challenging for all—but particularly those involved in developing new technologies like Bitcoin (BSV). But along with the difficulty of “selling” new ideas to investors and the public, new opportunities will come as well. It’s a world near-desperate for solutions, and those who can demonstrate an ability to provide them in interesting ways have a greater chance to prosper.
See also: CoinGeek Live panel, Venture Investments for the Future of Bitcoin & Blockchain
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