IBM Corp. and Comcast Corp. may hail from two vastly different parts of the technology world, but they apparently share a common interest in blockchain software. Bloomberg reported today that the two companies will become the biggest backers of a new fund focused on early-stage blockchain startups.
The investment firm, MState, is led by venture capitalist Rob Bailey. He previously worked at a niche fund called Akkadian Ventures that specializes in buying equity in tech firms from employees and other small stakeholders.
To kick things off, MState plans to invest between $25,000 and $50,000 apiece in about a half-dozen startups over the next six months. The fund will place a particular emphasis on teams developing blockchain products that may be of interest to enterprises. As part of their work, Bailey and the rest of the team will connect entrepreneurs with potential Fortune 500 clients.
The capital for the investments is set to come from Comcast. IBM will focus mainly on providing various support services to the startups in MState’s portfolio. Janine Grasso, the vice president of blockchain strategy and ecosystem development at the company, said it may also back teams who aren’t a good fit for MState but have technology relevant to its goals.
IBM sees a big revenue opportunity in blockchain software. The technology, which traces its roots to Bitcoin, stores data as interlinked units that are connected in such a way that modifying one block requires the user to change all the others as well. That can make tampering virtually impossible, a feature that lends itself well not just to cryptocurrencies but also to financial records and other important business data.
IBM is currently working on blockchain projects with several large organizations. Just last month, the company shared details about a collaboration with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to build a national food safety database in China.
Supporting blockchain startups via MState could lead over time to the development of technologies that might be beneficial to IBM’s efforts. The fund’s first investment, for instance, is a San Francisco-based startup called Blockdaemon Inc. that has created a platform for easing the deployment of blockchain networks.
This article was curated from Google News. You can read the original article here.