Today, Emergence Capital is thrilled to announce an investment in Xapo, an early leader in the emerging bitcoin ecosystem. CEO Wences Casares has decades of experience in building successful global finance companies. My partners and I have known him for over fifteen years, and we can’t think of a better leader to navigate this exciting new platform.
On a personal level, I have been tracking bitcoin startups for nearly two years. When I first canvased the ecosystem, I came across less than 100 startups, mostly focused on wallets, exchanges and merchant services. I’m now working on an updated version of this landscape with nearly 1,000 companies, which I plan to publish in the next few weeks.
The more time I spend with bitcoin entrepreneurs, the more obsessed I become. It’s so much more than a financial instrument – it’s a protocol that allows efficient and secure fixing, storing and transfer of value. That value can be much more than a currency, we are thinking about use cases in real estate, tickets, email addresses and more. While we have started to see early companies focused on the consumer elements of bitcoin, at Emergence, we are particularly excited about the emerging B2B opportunities around security, identity, financial tracking, merchant services, analytics and others.
Just over 10 years ago we invested in Salesforce.com which became the defining company in the SaaS world. Today, we are announcing our first investment in a bitcoin company, and we are excited to partner with Wences and the company that’s going to help define one of the most exciting developments for the next decade.