(Commonwealth Union)_ Olaf Carlson-Wee created Polychain Capital in 2016. Prior to starting Polychain, Carlson-Wee was an employee of Coinbase where he was Head of Risk. Sequoia Capital, Union Square Ventures and Founders Fund have all invested in Polychain.
The firm claimed $1 billion in assets in 2017, but this had reduced to $591.5 million by the end of 2018, owing primarily to a drop in the value of its holdings. Per its SEC filings as of March 2022, the corporation manages roughly $6.627 billion in investments. Companies that Polychain Capital has invested in include Kik Messenger, Dfinity and Tezos.
Foundation Devices has announced the completion of a seed round, headed by Polychain Capital, which raised $7 million. Along with prior investors Third Prime, Warburg Serres, Unpopular Ventures and Bolt, new investors Greenfield Capital and Lightning Ventures were also featured.
A $2 million seed round for Foundation was previously led by early stage venture fund Bolt. Only one month had passed since the Passport, Foundation’s first flagship product, had gone on sale. Since then, the business has unveiled the second iteration of its flagship Passport, which, according to a press statement issued today, “continues to gain traction and adoption among consumers with thousands of Passports sold over the last 18 months.”
The company is also concentrating on its new “Envoy” smartphone app, which intends to act as an independent sovereignty toolbox replete with a Bitcoin software wallet. According to the Foundation, “Envoy delivers the quickest onboarding and user experience of any Bitcoin wallet, with maximum privacy using the Tor network, a free and open-source software for enabling anonymous communication.”
The company’s CEO, Zach Herbert, reiterated the importance of privacy and sovereignty, saying that “preserving freedom and privacy is more crucial than ever amidst worldwide censorship, privacy violations, and imprudent banking and monetary policies.” Responding to the funding round, Polychain Capital founder and CEO Olaf Carlson-Wee said: “We are tremendously excited to help them on the next step of their goal to empower self-sovereign persons through decentralised technologies.”
A seed round lead by cryptocurrency investment company Polychain Capital secured $7 million for Foundation Devices, a maker of hardware wallets and other products focused on Bitcoin. Following the bankruptcy filing of centralised cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which kept and improperly exploited user assets, the disclosure comes at a time when interest in hardware wallets is surging. According to a draught press release given to CoinDesk, the money would assist Foundation Devices in developing its engineering and design teams further and creating products, with a short-term emphasis on software services.
New investors Greenfield Capital and Lightning Ventures joined current backers Third Prime, Warburg Serres, Unpopular Ventures, and Bolt in the round.
The Boston-based Foundation was established in April 2020 with a focus on products that make Bitcoin and decentralised technology more approachable. The company’s flagship item is Passport, a $259 hardware wallet that communicates more securely with the outside world via QR codes and a camera rather than a USB or wireless connection. Additionally, Foundation created the Envoy mobile app, a mobile wallet that aids customers in configuring, managing, and utilising their Passport wallet.
“With global censorship, privacy violations, and foolish financial and monetary policies, preserving freedom and privacy is more critical than ever,” Herbert said in a statement. “As the distinction between the real and digital worlds becomes increasingly blurred, we are delighted to continue creating decentralised solutions that herald in a new era of freedom and wealth for consumers all around the world.”