Crypto’s no longer white-hot, but its underlying blockchain technology continues to attract investors. RealBlocks, a blockchain-based startup for real estate fundraising and investing, just snagged $3.1 million in seed funding.
The round was led by Science Inc. — and other investors included Morgan Creek Capital, Zelkova Ventures, Ulu Ventures and Cross Culture Ventures, the company said in a statement Friday.
RealBlocks allows global investors to purchase micro-shares in private equity funds using either government-backed currency or cryptocurrency. Investors receive an asset-backed token or share that represents ownership of an offering. And they have the ability to trade that token on a peer-to-peer platform.
Blockchain is a public distributed ledger system. That means, unlike with centralized ledgers often maintained by one entity, multiple copies exist and each participant within the system retains their own copy of a blockchain that updates as new transactions occur. Through the technology, low-cost peer-to-peer transactions can be made between anyone, anywhere in the world, circumventing established banking systems. The exchanges are best known as trading hubs for cryptocurrencies.
RealBlocks argues that using blockchain for its platform creates a more efficient process for investors based outside the U.S.
“With the support of our strategic investors, we’re accelerating development of our product and adoption of blockchain technology for real estate, an industry that previously hasn’t seen much innovation,” CEO Perrin Quarshie said in the statement.
RealBlocks is the latest among companies applying blockchain to the real estate industry. Last year, imbrex launched what it said was the first blockchain-based multiple-listing service. The firm said it was creating a global MLS — which would be a decentralized, open-source system as an alternative to traditional MLS networks.
Meanwhile Brooklyn-based Meridio sought to disrupt building ownership using the technology. The experiment involved introducing a cryptocurrency token for the eight investors of a Bushwick property — who could then sell, buy and document all aspects of their investment through the token thanks to the underlying blockchain platform.
Co-working company Knotel also embraced blockchain with plans for an online office listing data platform dubbed KnotelKoin. On the platform, participants can add and verify information about office spaces through a peer-to-peer ledger system.