Electronics manufacturer Foxconn led a $7 million Series A investment in tech startup Cambridge Blockchain. The iPhone maker invested through its venture capital arm HCM Capital, along with Partech Ventures and Digital Currency Group. The startup, founded in 2015, uses blockchain to help companies meet Know-Your-Customer (KYC) compliance obligations.
During the investment round, the ventures covered some of the existing debt and injected new capital. Thus, the total amount raised is $9 million, which also includes a seed round in 2017.
The Massachusetts-based startup plans to use the funds to develop its enterprise data management software, which aims to both keep identities protected and support KYC compliance for online devices.
Matthew Commons, founder and CEO of Cambridge Blockchain, commented on the event:
“This funding is a critical milestone and reflects the progress we've made in becoming the leading blockchain-based identity solution for enterprises.”
To reach the European market, Commons plans to launch his company in Luxembourg this year with about 600,000 end users. At the beginning of the year, the startup announced a partnership with NASDAQ listed IHS Markit, a London-based company that came out of the merger between IHS and Markit. Last year, Cambridge Blockchain partnered with European trust services company LuxTrust.
Both Partech Ventures and Digital Currency Group have previously participated in the seed round, raising $2 million. Foxconn is investing in Cambridge Blockchain for the first time but took part in blockchain-related investment rounds on several occasions in the past.
Recently, the Taiwan-based company, which is among the top 10 tech companies in the world, joined the $250 million investment in Galaxy Digital, Michael Novogratz’s crypto-bank.
Jack Lee, founding managing partner of HCM Capital, commented:
“HCM has invested in blockchain start-ups since early 2016, as we saw the potential of distributed ledger technology with enterprise use cases including Industrial Internet, IoT-enabled manufacturing, supply chain provenance, trade finance, and payments.”
“However, we soon realized that digital identity is a critical building block to achieve value through decentralized information transfers. Cambridge Blockchain has the best team and experience handling strict requirements from financial institutions for privacy and personal data compliance, which can be extended to grow new applications in the decentralized digital economy of the future,” he added.
The parent company has been manufacturing electronic devices of all kinds for companies like Apple, Acer, Intel, Amazon, Dell, Sony, Toshiba, Huawei, HP, and Nintendo among others. Foxconn made the headlines with controversies regarding employee grievances and treatment.