Berlin blockchain and AI start-up Xain raises €6m in seed funding

6 Jun 2018

Berlin skyline. Image: Canadastock/Shutterstock

New cybersecurity protocol will keep people and machines safe in the internet of things world.

Berlin-based blockchain and AI start-up Xain has raised around €6m in a seed funding round led by Earlybird with participation from investors in Asia.

The company plans to scale-up activities and hire 10 new employees, mostly software engineers.

Xain has developed a cybersecurity protocol using blockchain and AI through which machines, devices and humans can control access to data and resources in the internet of things world.

The protocol is resilient against cyberattacks through a combination of blockchain, decentralised access control and machine learning.

“Xain is a great example of the type of founder-led, deep tech-based business that we like to invest in,” said Dr Christian Nagel, managing director at Earlybird, who joins the company’s supervisory board.

The art of the scale-up

Xain began as a University of Oxford research project in 2014 and was incorporated in Berlin in February 2017. With offices in Berlin, Stuttgart and Oxford, Xain delivers services worldwide.

In 2017, Xain won Porsche’s Blockchain Innovation Contest. Together with the car manufacturer, the start-up worked on several pilots to put blockchain technology into a standard vehicle model – a world-wide first at the time. It is believed the initiative will accelerate the development of autonomous driving in the long term.

“With a global presence and a lot of experience with scaling start-ups successfully, Earlybird is an ideal partner as lead investor next to all the strategic co-investors for our current stage at Xain. We’re excited to take the next steps together,” said Felix Hahmann, COO and co-founder of Xain.

“We’re delighted to have partners on board that provide us not only with capital, but also with vast strategic experience, especially in our market,” added Leif-Nissen Lundbaek, CEO and co-founder.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years