The Business Times

Blockchain startup Band Protocol raises US$3m seed round led by Sequoia India

Sharanya Pillai
Published Mon, Feb 18, 2019 · 01:09 AM

BAND Protocol, a Singapore and Thailand-based blockchain startup, has secured US$3 million in seed funds led by Sequoia Capital India. This marks Sequoia India's first blockchain investment in Southeast Asia.

Other investors include early-stage venture firm SeaX Ventures, which invests in deep-tech firms, and Dunamu & Partners, the investment arm of Dunamu, which operates Korean crypto exchange Upbit.

Founded in mid-2017, Band Protocol is building a protocol which businesses can use to create a "token-curated community" - an online community where users are rewarded with crypto tokens for participating actively in curating data.

Band Protocol will use the fresh funds to accelerate development of its mainnet, the main blockchain network on which transactions are carried out. The funds will also be deployed for its go-to-market strategy this year.

Token-curated communities can bring users together to create platforms with trustworthy information, said Soravis Srinawakoon, co-founder and CEO of Band Protocol, in a press statement.

"Our vision at Band Protocol is to bring online and digital communities together by creating an online platform for the curation of transparent and reliable data. Think of it as the underlying infrastructure for the second information age," he said.

Band Protocol says that its protocol has "clear applications" for credit bureaus, fraud detection, Know Your Customer verification and services involving online discussion, recommendations and rankings.

To demonstrate its product, Band Protocol is now building CoinHatcher, a web portal aggregating news and research on the crypto and blockchain ecosystem.

Sequoia India principal Pieter Kemps said that he is encouraged by the team's technical skills and strategic approach. Mr Soravis was previously a software engineer at Ericsson and a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group. Co-founder Sorawit Suriyakarn was a software engineer at Quora, Dropbox and Hudson River Trading, where he built a crypto trading desk solution.

Acknowledging the recent ups and downs of the blockchain scene, Mr Kemps added that he takes a long-term view. "We have been very impressed with Band Protocol's experience in the blockchain space across several industry cycles," he said in the release.

SeaX founder Supachai Parchariyanon said that he wants to bring Band Protocol's product to the venture firm's corporate and startup partners. "With their technical know how and our extensive global network, we are confident in being the pioneer in bringing blockchain to real-world adoption," he said in the release.

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