A CB Insights report shows that Goldman Sachs, Citi Bank and Google are among the biggest investors in blockchain related companies and projects. Year to date, corporations around the world have been involved in 42 equity investment agreements, with the cumulative amount of the deals reaching $327 million, which is slightly below the $390 million recorded in 2016.
The first place, as the most active corporate investor, goes to Japan’s SBI Holdings, a financial services provider which has invested in eight blockchain related companies. Some notable mentions are Kraken, the crypto exchange with the highest trading volume in Euro, and R3, a blockchain-oriented consortium of financial institutions.
Google is just below SBI, having six investments in projects such as Storj, LedgerX, Ripple, and Veem.
The tech giant is followed by Overstock.com, Citi Bank, and Goldman Sachs. The latter invested in four blockchain entities: Digital Asset Holdings, Axoni, R3, and Circle.
Most companies chose to deal specifically with private blockchain development, investing $60 million in Digital Asset Holdings’ funding in 2016, and over $40 million in the recent Series B funding. Other significant investment examples are Chain’s $30 million Series B funding in 2015, LedgerX’s $11 million funding in 2017, and $18 million accumulated by Axoni at the end of 2016.
Since June 2014, the ten largest US banks were involved in 9 funding rounds, organized by six blockchain entities, which have accumulated $267 million in total.
The report notes that:
“Big banks and financial services firms were the first corporate players to make direct blockchain investments en masse — unsurprising, given how Bitcoin's underlying technology lends itself, both technically and in popular thought, to financial services.”
Besides investments in blockchain companies, banks become more attracted to blockchain related consortiums. R3, Ripple, Hyperledger, and the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance are worth mentioning here.
The CB Insights report also refers to blockchain investments by venture capital firms. When it comes to ventures, the most well-funded blockchain companies are Coinbase, Circle, 21 Inc, Ripple, and BitFury. Digital Asset Holdings comes eighth.
Additionally, the report gave relevant details about initial coin offerings (ICOs), a form of fundraising that is similar to crowdfunding. It also noted that the number of companies initiating ICOs is declining, and the risk of failure is very high.