Dfinity, one of the most interesting crypto projects in recent times, announced that it is raising money from Andreessen Horowitz (A16Z), the famed Silicon Valley venture capitalist and Polychain Capital, perhaps the best known crypto hedge fund in the market today. Dfinity has raised $61 million in this round. Previously, Dfinity had raised 3.9 Million CHF (Swiss Frank) in its seed round around a year ago from regular backers (i.e. non-venture backed).
Although Dfinity uses buzzwords like Cloud 3.0 in describing what it does, the project is one of the very few respected protocol-level projects in the crypto space at the moment, amidst the ICO hype. The project itself is quite ambitious and wants to rethink how applications run on the web. Dfinity is aiming to break the holy trinity of ‘safety, security, scalability – pick two’ by promising all three. The team has made significant progress on the project since the seed round almost a year ago.
Venture rounds are not usually looked upon favorably by the crypto community, since they feel it is against democratic access. Venture capitalists almost always get favorable terms compared to everyone else, which also doesn’t appear fair to the communities in general. However, in this case, both A16Z and Polychain Capital are well known in the crypto communities as being able to provide a lot of value beyond just money. The hope is that the Dfinity team can get a lot of value out of these partnerships.
Dfinity and Polychain Capital have already announced a partnership to manage a venture fund for projects that would end up using the Dfinity compute infrastructure for their projects.
Dfinity completed its seed round in February 2017 just prior to the whole ICO mania of 2017. It raised 3.9 million CHF in the seed round from regular project backers (not venture investors). The team announced that it had $40 million when it converted everything to fiat money. With the $61 million raised in its venture round, the company has a total funding of $100 million so far.
The main ICO was supposed to have a hard cap of 20 million CHF back in 2017. However, as the market conditions have changed, that would be significantly undervaluing the project, with the speculators capturing the difference. Instead, the company, which doesn’t have any immediate funding needs after this venture round, is reconsidering its ICO plans. However, Dfinity has promised that the seed investors will get 24.72% of the Dfinity network tokens that will be created in the genesis block. This will keep the seed investors from being diluted, since it is very likely they will raise significantly more than 20 million CHF.
Dfinity has announced a first round ‘presale’ with strict KYC/AML requirements, and has cast doubts on a broader ‘second round’ ICO. If it takes place, the team wants to run it through regulated exchanges.
Dfinity pitches itself as a ‘blockchain computer’. It has many similarities with Ethereum, but its scope goes beyond what Ethereum does. Dfinity allows companies to run computing applications on a fully decentralized computing infrastructure without regards to using a lot of IT or datacenter staff to maintain those resources. It aims to make it extremely simple for developers to build and deploy complex applications.