Announcing Origin Protocol’s Successful Strategic Round

Matthew Liu
Apr 24, 2018 · 6 min read
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is building an open-source platform that enables the creation of peer-to-peer, decentralized marketplaces. The company’s open-source protocols for user identity, reputation, listings, dispute management, and more allow buyers and sellers to meet, communicate, and transact on the blockchain. Origin’s goals are to reduce transaction fees, promote free and transparent commerce, and redistribute value from rent-seeking middlemen to individual buyers and sellers.

Everyday, everyone on our team focuses on our audacious guiding question, “can we build open-source protocols and systems that will one day disrupt dozens or even hundreds of multi-million and even multi-billion dollar marketplace businesses?”

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To measure our progress on long-term goals, we track multiple roadmaps, recognizing that our path to achieving our goals will require many iterative steps over a long period of time.

1. On the product and technology side, we’ve made great progress expanding our engineering team, with over 40 contributors to our 100% open-source . We’ve and are extremely excited to launch v2 of our demo in the coming weeks that will showcase new features like identity management, user profiles, complex transactions of different types of goods and services, and reviews/ratings.

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Identity on the Origin platform using ERC 725

Identity is a particularly important component of the decentralized marketplaces that we’re enabling, and we’re proud of the ground-breaking work we’ve been doing in this area. We recently as the first known working implementation of the ERC 725 standard.

2. On the community front, we are humbled everyday to see the support that we have received from users all over the world. Our is over 22,000 members strong and we have lively discussions with our extended team every day as we do our work in public in . We have amazingly strong presences in Asia, Europe, Australia, and even South America and Africa. We’re still waiting for someone to visit us with a satellite modem from Antarctica!

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Visitors to by country

has been translated to 17 different languages all by volunteers that want to help us further our mission. We’re eager to further step up our community engagement in the coming months as we get closer to platform launch. To this end, we will be hosting more community meetups, running hackathons, and providing more video interviews, AMAs, and livestreams to show the progress we’re making as a team. We want to give our community many more opportunities to get involved. We wouldn’t be able to achieve what we have without your ongoing support. Thank you.

3. On the developer community side, over 45 marketplace partners have signed commitments to build on Origin’s platform using Origin.js and our associated smart contracts. We’re thrilled to be working with some of the top teams in blockchain like and (), as well as existing thriving marketplaces like in Malaysia and that are moving their businesses to the blockchain.

4. On the business roadmap, today we are announcing the completion of our Strategic Sale round of fundraising. This is just the first of several additional business milestones that are planned with the goal of broadening the base of Origin users and token holders leading up to a successful platform launch.

Tackling the many technological, user and partnership acquisition, and operational challenges within the sharing economy is no small feat and requires a significant amount of capital. Just as importantly, we need to form strong strategic partnerships and relationships worldwide if we are to continue spreading the Origin mission and software platform to all corners of the world.

To capitalize our project and broaden our global presence, Origin has raised an additional $28.4M Strategic Sale round from strategic partners around the world. Even though the participating investors were people we already knew through our personal networks, we had one-on-one conversations with each investor to ensure they were committed to delivering additional value beyond their capital contributions. The specific commitments vary investor by investor, but include assisting on high-level technical architecture and token design, sourcing international partnership opportunities, recruiting engineering, product management, product design, and operations talent, engaging with local press outlets, and setting up regional meet ups, conferences, and other events.

Among traditional Silicon Valley investors, we are excited to announce the participation of:

  • Foundation Capital, venture investor in sharing economy companies like Uber, Luxe, and Peerspace
  • Garry Tan, former Y Combinator partner and first investor in Coinbase and Instacart
  • Alexis Ohanian, founder and former CEO of (the original community site)
  • Gil Penchina, AngelList’s top syndicate lead
  • Kamal Ravikant, investor in Protocol Labs (creator of IPFS and Filecoin)
  • Steve Jang, Uber’s early advisor and angel
  • Randall Kaplan, co-founder of Akamai

In addition to leading cryptocurrency VC and hedge fund Pantera Capital (that led our ), we also welcome top investment funds from all around the world:

  • BlockTower Capital, Kindred Ventures, Turing Capital, Cypher Capital (United States)
  • Smart Contract Japan, Red Robot (Japan)
  • FBG, Danhua Capital, Continue Capital, PreAngel Fund (China)
  • Hashed (South Korea)
  • Kenetic Capital, Sora Ventures (Hong Kong)
  • BlockAsset, Spartan Group, Iconic, Beyond Blocks (Southeast Asia)
  • 1kx fund (Germany)
  • KBW Ventures (Middle East)

Finally, we are also grateful to be supported by the founders and companies of other top projects tackling some of the most challenging technology problems in blockchain. Our alliances with them will further speed up the development of features integral to the Origin platform.

  • OmiseGo, leading development of the Ethereum scaling solution Plasma
  • Enigma, building privacy-enabled computations
  • Fragments, launching a new stable-coin that can be used for peer-to-peer transactions
  • Shapeshift, building democratized currency exchange

The new capital will be used to continue to build out our world-class engineering, product, and business teams as we gear up for a full platform deployment. We’re also allocating capital to support our developer partners that are building on Origin and to find creative ways to give back to the community (stay tuned!).

Of note, in order to stay fully compliant with all US and international regulations, our Strategic Sale was unfortunately limited to accredited investors due to the fact that our platform is still under heavy development. We further vetted our investors to ensure they were able to provide deep commitments that they would be able to further our efforts in very meaningful ways.

We recognize that this has, in the short-term, left out thousands of our supporters that have been rooting for us and contributing to our community in the last few months. Please know that engaging our community and coming up with legal and compliant solutions to create a democratized sharing economy platform are top of mind for the founders and every employee at the company.

While we cannot announce any formal details of what we are working on just yet, we can tell you that we have multiple projects currently in play that are focused on giving the broader community an ability to participate in our platform in a meaningful way. More details will be shared in the coming weeks and months as our platform approaches a Mainnet launch.

Please join me in welcoming the newest members to the Origin family (with many many more to come), and congratulating our team on all the hard work it took to reach this important business milestone.

There’s much more to come!

Matt and Josh, founders of Origin

Learn more about Origin:

Origin Protocol

Origin is building the sharing economy of tomorrow.

Thanks to Josh Fraser, Andrew Hyde, and Stan James

Matthew Liu

Written by

Cofounder Origin, early YouTube, avid traveler

Origin Protocol

Origin is building the sharing economy of tomorrow. Buyers and sellers will be able to transact without rent-seeking middlemen. We believe in lowering transaction fees, promoting free and transparent commerce, and giving early participants in the community a stake in the network.

Matthew Liu

Written by

Cofounder Origin, early YouTube, avid traveler

Origin Protocol

Origin is building the sharing economy of tomorrow. Buyers and sellers will be able to transact without rent-seeking middlemen. We believe in lowering transaction fees, promoting free and transparent commerce, and giving early participants in the community a stake in the network.

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