Big week of funding for blockchain, customer service tech and more

21 Apr 2017

Image: Antony Watman/Shutterstock

This week has seen a flurry of investments into blockchain start-ups, while rental platforms, customer service and even HR industries are also booming.

We have yet to scratch the surface of what blockchain could do to industry all over the world, with bitcoin merely the introduction to what will, according to many, become the true disrupter of the coming years.

With such expectation comes funding, sometimes in small sums, sometimes in large, but always dispersed across a plethora of interesting start-ups.

Rubicoin and Factom

For example, one of the more exciting companies knocking about at the moment in fintech is Rubicoin, an Irish business opening up the stock market to more of the public.

This week, the Dublin start-up successfully secured a further €1.4m in a new funding round, taking its total amount raised so far to more than €5m.

With stakeholders including Enterprise Ireland and Motley Fool, Rubicoin was co-founded by Emmet Savage and John Tyrrell in 2013.

It has found considerable success with its service, which aims to create millions of successful stock investors by making the process more accessible.

“Since December, we’ve raised €1.4m based on some very successful metrics that show we have grown the business through every lens possible. The round is still ongoing and we have a few more possible investors that are close,” said Savage to The Irish Times.

In the US, Texas-based Factom, a start-up that leverages blockchain into areas such as land-title deals, raised more than $8m in Series A funding.

The company’s first customer was the US Department of Homeland Security, with border protection sensors and devices utilised over the Factom service.

Gladly, Bedly and Swingvy

Elsewhere, Gladly, a start-up looking to sync up all the elements of sales communication into one platform, has announced $36m in funding.

“Legacy products, including the leading cloud products like Salesforce and Zendesk are all centred around tickets and cases, and they tend to silo the conversations inside of individual channels,” said Joseph Ansanelli, co-founder of Gladly, to VentureBeat.

The problem here, he said, was the sheer number of tickets created – one for every interaction, every digital utterance. Centralising it all into one interface, so, is the Gladly plan.

In South Korea, HR start-up Swingvy raised $1.1m in seed funding to help finance its plans to turn the industry digital.

The company launched in October in parts of Asia, already claiming 1,000 client companies.

Meanwhile, Bedly, a business looking to tweak the rental services available at the moment, raised $2.7m.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic