Blockchain-Based “Internet Computer” Developer Raises $61 Million

DFINITY Stiftung has raised $61 million from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and hedge fund Polychain Capital.

DFINITY Stiftung, a non-profit foundation developing a blockchain-based “internet computer,” raised $61 million from Andreessen Horowitz, a US venture capital firm, and hedge fund Polychain Capital, Reuters reports

According to DFINITY’s president and chief scientist Dominic Williams, the organization has raised over $100 million during its funding events. 

DFINITY Stiftung is working on a so called internet computer shared by the world, which would have unlimited capacity, unmatched performance, and algorithmic governance. The company explained that the product would allow decentralized versions of tech services like eBay, Uber or Dropbox.

“We're building a system that will enable the internet to act as a giant computer,” Dom Williams said.

“It will be an open protocol, it won't be supported by a company, it will be supported by whoever connects their computers to that protocol,” he added.

Ryan Zurrer, venture partner of Polychain Capital, said that DFINITY’s technology represented an “extremely compelling innovation” and that his venture firm was “committing our largest-ever capital deployment.”

This is the largest investment for Polychain Capital. The San Francisco-based hedge fund was founded in 2016 and focuses on blockchain startups. The company had plans to go public in Canada, but it gave up the process several days ago. Polychain is backed by several venture capital firms, such as Sequoia Capital, which is an early investor in Google and Apple, Union Square Ventures, and the same Andreessen Horowitz.

Williams said that $21 million of the total $61 million funding will be allocated to research and development of the system, and the rest will go to DFINITY’s Ecosystem Venture Fund.

The fund is meant to be a capital pool led by the founders of DFINITY and Polychain Capital. It will invest in projects developing apps on the DFINITY network.

“At the moment, we’re looking very hard in how to widen distribution,” said Williams. “We’ve got demand in the hundreds of millions wanting to participate in the project.”

He added that the company launched a token sale event last year, but he doesn’t want to have some tangencies with the wild ICO space, as he anticipates a negative reaction against this phenomenon.