Excited to Welcome Brian Hoffman & OB1 into the OMERS Ventures portfolio!
Announced on March 13: OB1 Raises $5 million Series A Financing
A tide is turning in the digital world. After years of increased consolidation online, two parallel movements are building the momentum for a new internet. First, there is a growing global backlash against the “tech giants” — and recent scandals have only accelerated this phenomenon — as the public is losing trust in these platforms. The second trend is the advancement of blockchain technology, which has presented a mechanism to develop and scale a decentralized internet. Centralized platforms have amassed so much power that they can essentially self-govern, setting their own rules using our data. Decentralization can reverse this reality and we believe OB1, the team behind OpenBazaar, is best positioned to unlock the future of decentralized commerce.
OpenBazaar is an open sourced peer-to-peer platform where individuals can transact with one another without relying on any third parties. Users can transact using multiple cryptocurrencies and have the ability to build applications (like search tools) on top of the platform due to its open nature. OpenBazaar is secure and commission-free, just like the original bazaars. We believe the World will increasingly search for safer, fairer and more private ways to conduct online commerce in the coming years. OpenBazaar, through its decentralized protocol, offers that solution for us. Moreover, as consumers increase their cryptocurrency holdings, they will increasingly seek ways to spend their valuable currencies. Crypto can be spent today on OpenBazaar on all kinds of physical and digital items.
We have enjoyed getting to know OB1’s management team over the past couple of years. Brian, Sam and Washington are amongst the most knowledgeable and passionate experts in the blockchain community. OB1 stays in constant communication with their thousands of community members and contributing developers, and active with hundreds of daily messages on Reddit, Slack and Telegram channels. OB1 has a world class team which is core to our investment thesis.
We are excited to be investors in OB1. We look forward to working with the team and helping them in the quest to build a fairer and more independent internet.
The OMERS Ventures team has a lot more to say about the rise of decentralized networks…and we look forward to sharing additional content in the coming months.