Xcelerator August 2020 Update: Acala’s Series-A, Cincel on Shark Tank, & More

The Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator team is incredibly excited to share this month’s news from our teams and ecosystem! The Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator is a blockchain-focused startup accelerator at UC Berkeley, run by Blockchain at Berkeley, Berkeley Engineering (Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology), and the Haas School of Business.

Note: Xcelerator companies will be labeled with their batch number, Sp 20, Fa 19, or Sp 19. You can find a list of our portfolio here.

Current Batch (Sp 20) Updates

Acala closes $7M Series-A led by Pantera Capital

Acala (Sp 20), a decentralized stablecoin platform powering cross-blockchain open finance applications, has closed a $7M Series A round led by Pantera Capital. Other investors in the round include 1confirmation, Arrington XRP Capital, ParaFi Capital, Coinfund, DCG, Spartan Capital and others. Hypersphere, Polychain Capital, and several other previous investors also reinforced their previous support.

Acala has been making great progress in finding product-market fit and building community engagement. It has became one of the most prominent and active platforms in Polkadot ecosystem with approximately 14,500 new accounts, 142,000 meaningful transactions, $52 million total value locked over a 3-week testnet campaign, and 30 ecosystem collaborators integrating and building with Acala.

Geer Collaborates with Atari to Distribute Authentic Atari Digital Products

Gaming AdTech and branding company Geer (Sp 20) partners with Atari to launch and distribute a suite of authentic digital products in a series of games that will be announced soon. Stay tuned!

Three Xcelerator Teams Chosen for Inaugural CoinList Seed Batch

Linkdrop (Sp 20), Acala Network (Sp 20), and Puma Browser (Fa 19) were selected amongst ~60 applications to be part of the CoinList Seed Demo Day, which focuses on introducing investors to early-stage crypto startups that are looking to raise their first rounds of private funding. Over 150 investors joined the CoinList Seed program, including investors such as CoinFund, Electric Capital, and Polychain Capital. Read more below.

Acala and Stake Technology’s Plasm Launch the 1st Parachain on Polkadot Testnet Together

Acala (Sp 20) and Stake Technology’s Plasm (Sp 20) have worked together to launch the first parachain on Rococo, Polkadot’s parachain testnet, putting them on track to build the first cross-chain use-case. Learn more about their launch here and here.

Finoa Partners with Renowned Institution Bankhaus Scheich to Offer Fully Regulated Trading of Digital Assets

Finoa (Sp 20) officially extends its partnership with Bankhaus Scheich to offer investors and companies the opportunity to trade digital assets directly from within their secure and regulated custody environment. Read more about their partnership below.

Linkdrop Powers MakerDAO’s Dai Favorite Campaign & Listed on the Hackernoon’s “5 Web3 Startups That Deserve Your Attention”

Web3 user acquisition platform Linkdrop (Sp 20) was used to distribute 4000 DAI to 200 people in the “Dai Favorite Campaign” led by the Maker Foundation. Read more about the event below on Maker Dao’s blog.

They were also listed in the Hackernoon article: “5 Web3 Startups That Deserve Your Attention”. The article identifies Linkdrop as a “simple, yet genius” solution.

OP Games Sponsors and Speaks at Unitize (SFBW) Hackathon

OP Games (Sp 20) sponsored the Unitize (San Francisco Blockchain Week) Hackathon organized by Gitcoin, setting up on bounties to work with world-class developers. Paul Gadi, OP Game’s CTO, also conducted a community workshop during the hackathon, check it out below.

Stake Technologies Receives a Web3 Open Grant from the Web3 Foundation

Stake Technologies (Sp 20) has locked in another grant from the Web3 Foundation. Their recent development focuses mostly on implementing the lockdrop functionality for Plasm Network. Read more below.

Snowball Money Launches Beta Test

With YFI mooning to its $38.8K current all-time-high, Snowball’s (Sp 20) waitlist has been rapidly growing. Their dApp is the first mobile app to be a front end to the yUSDC vault, and they are currently looking for beta-testers. They also plan to launch a governance token in the near future… Stay tuned!

Past Cohort Updates

CINCEL (Fa 19) Stars on Shark Tank Mexico and Closes Seed Round

CINCEL on Shark Tank Mexico

CINCEL (Fa 19) pitches their contactless eSignature product on Shark Tank Mexico, one of the most watched business reality series in Latin America. In addition, they recently closes their $150K seed round.

Eluv.io (Fa 19) Launches Entire MGM Library

Eluv.io (Fa 19) launched the entire MGM library on roar.mgm.com — a set of properties for just-in-time screening and asset download of the MGM film and tv library. This is the first “entire library” to be ingested and streamed directly from the Content Fabric. Eluv.io’s Content Fabric is an open high performance software network for management and distribution of large form content (video) using decentralized and content-centric design.

Pinata (Fa 19) Sponsors and Speaks at HackFS

Pinata (Fa 19), a dev tool to simplify IPFS pinning and production, sponsored HackFS, a global hackathon run by ETHGlobal and Protocol Labs. They also did a session on how Pinata can handle the number of increasing data that NFTs represents and managing data off-chain.

BC Diploma (Fa 19) Obtains IMS Global Certification

BC Diploma (Fa 19), which provides the turnkey blockchain solution for dematerializing and delivering tamper-proof diplomas and certificates, recently obtained the IMS global certification. IMS Global is the world-leading non-profit collaborative advancing EdTech interoperability, innovation, and learning impact. This helps speed up the adoption in English-speaking countries, which now include a series of successful tenders such as eCampusOntario (48 post-secondary institutions) and Toronto Finance International. They also signed Africa’s first and largest pan-African network of private higher education institutions into their portfolio.

Job Opportunities from Portfolios and Ecosystem

Visit the Xcelerator Jobs Portal to apply to every portfolio company within 1 application!

Ecosystem and Blockchain News

Blockchain at Berkeley Offers Flagship Blockchain Fundamentals Course as Free Public Webinar

Blockchain at Berkeley is offering a free, public version of their popular Blockchain Fundamentals course — which has taught over 160,000 others to date — now with updated content! Register here.

Latest Blogs from Blockchain at Berkeley

Thoughts on Blockchain applications by Berkeley undergraduates and master students; See more at Blockchain at Berkeley’s Medium Publication.

Check out more about our program and portfolios on our website.

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We provide non-dilutive support for selected teams, providing access to resources both on and off campus. Our motive is purely to advance technology, create new ventures and support researchers.

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Berkeley Blockchain Xcelerator

A partnership between Berkeley Engineering’s RDI & SCET, Blockchain at Berkeley, and Berkeley Haas