Please welcome Blockdaemon, the most flexible onramp for enterprise blockchain solutions

Meet Blockdaemon, the latest addition to Lerer Hippeau’s portfolio.

HQ: New York City

Founder: Konstantin Richter

The problem: Sixty percent of enterprise companies stated that blockchain will be a key component to staying competitive in their space in the years to come. But, today, many businesses are spending too much time developing their own infrastructure, or, alternatively, opt to use to a single stack devops infrastructure provider that holds and effectively centralizes their data. Those enterprises, in turn, are committing to an expensive option that locks up the data in one single cloud, and accumulates technical debt from a lack of flexibility to move to and try different protocols.

Blockdaemon’s solution: Blockdaemon offers a middleware platform for enterprise companies to dynamically scale different types of blockchain networks across any data infrastructure. Companies looking to engage blockchain solutions for the first time can test multiple real, production-grade blockchains before committing to a single protocol. And more experienced enterprises can open up their blockchain devops to all clouds and for any participant.

Origin story: Konstantin spent years in telecommunications network strategy before becoming an entrepreneur in the SaaS B2B space where he built flexible data platforms for large media files. This experience was his early exposure to two important themes in his career: network effect and avoidance of technical debt. “Blockchain excited me in 2015 because of the inherent tokenization. You have a system where you can scale a software automatically without building a utility,” says Konstantin. “I thought, ‘This was a network effect on speed.’” After orchestrating the sale of a previous business he was involved with (Wiredrive) in 2017, he watched the token markets appreciate and saw the delta between expectation and valuation and the reality that tech could not keep nodes in sync with a network. Blockdaemon was created as a tool to allow developers to focus on blockchains without worrying about the underlying infrastructure or giving up decentralization.

Why we’re betting on it: One of our investment theses in the blockchain space is supporting scaling solutions. The biggest question facing the majority of blockchain use cases is how chains scale to serve applications with millions of users and beyond. The answer for many in this area involves nodes in some way, shape, or form — via state channels, staking consensus mechanisms and other innovative scaling solutions. Node deployment, monitoring, and maintenance will be an integral piece of infrastructure for enterprises developing on the blockchain because they’ll require effective privacy, adequate liability, and security.

Building in-house node deployment and monitoring software requires expertise and execution that’s often outside enterprises’ core competencies. As a result, many turn to a third-party to provide this infrastructure, as they already do in the traditional web via platforms like New Relic. Blockdaemon provides an enterprise grade blockchain platform which allows companies to deploy nodes and blockchain projects on the servers of their choice (on-premises, cloud or both) and on the blockchain of their choice (Stellar, Algorand, Ethereum Parity, Bitcoin, and more).

Our take: We’ve had a number of enterprises in our network explore blockchain projects and one of the biggest challenges they’ve faced is developing adequate devops infrastructure to support them. To us, this infrastructure is a key component to taking something from a “pilot” or “experiment” into a production-level commercial application. Unfortunately the lack of third-party infrastructure support has led to both bottlenecks in development and slowed adoption at the enterprise level. We realized that this problem not only hurts enterprises, but also underlying blockchain protocols which benefit as development and adoption increase.

Konstantin knew this as well. He and his team at Blockdaemon have built a product to benefit both companies and protocol developers to ensure that enterprises have access to the best-in-class technology in the blockchain space. Konstantin and his team have been leaders in the world of enterprise blockchain for years and we knew that they’d taken the time to develop the right product and vision for where blockchain infrastructure is today and where it’s going. Both our team and the Blockdaemon team agree that, whether large or small, creators should not have to deal with infrastructure devops, they should be able to focus on building solutions to solve their business’ problems.

Further reading: Lerer Hippeau, Node-Marketplace, BYOI & Algorand by Konstantin Richter