Peter Thiel Takes Strategic Stake In EOS Developer Block.one

Peter Thiel Takes Strategic Stake In EOS Developer Block.one

Block.one, the company developing the EOS.IO blockchain, has concluded a new funding round to add strategic partners to its investor base. The investors who have been named are Peter Thiel, Jihan Wu, Louis Bacon and Alan Howard.

Thiel, who will reportedly be investing $20 million in Block.one, is the lead partner at San Francisco-based Founders Fund and was an early investor in Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp and Airbnb.

Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, Thiel co-founded PayPal. Jihan Wu is the co-founder of Bitmain, a crypto mining venture and designer of ASIC chips, which has been valued at $12 billion. Bacon and Howard are hedge fund managers with enviable track records.

Not About the Money

The strategic investments are equity investments being made in Block.one, rather than in EOS itself. The company was founded in 2016 by Brendan Blumer and Daniel Larimer to develop blockchain technologies.

The EOS crowd sale which lasted for 12 months, raised over $4 billion. At least $1 billion of this will be invested in start-ups building applications on the EOS blockchain through what will be a venture capital arm of the EOS project.

Clearly, there is no shortage of capital, and the equity has been sold for strategic reasons. Peter Thiel is known to be well connected and influential, and the fact that he has been a vocal supporter of Donald Trump is probably not a coincidence either.

The other investors are well connected in the US, Europe and China respectively. Several analysts believe the investors have been brought on board to help the company navigate the regulatory environment.

The launch of the EOS mainnet has been plagued with technical and governance problems. However, aside from EOS itself, Block.one appears to be building a solid business. Along with this strategic funding round, the company also named former Jefferies Asia CEO, Mike Alexander, as the new head of Block.one’s EOS VC arm.