Gem Raises $7.1M Series A Led by Pelion, Pivots to Meet Demand for Blockchain Expertise

Enterprise blockchain developer Gem announced Wednesday that it had raised $7.1 million in Series A financing, led by Pelion Venture Partners

KEC Ventures, Blockchain Capital, Digital Currency Group, RRE Ventures and other parties also participated in this round.

In addition to new financing, the startup has added Ben Dahl, partner at Pelion Venture Partners, and Scott Kriz, CEO at Bitium, to its Board of Directors. Gem’s Board of Observers also includes Howard Morgan, co-founder of First Round Capital, Jeff Parkinson, partner at KEC Ventures, and Jai Choi, founder of Tekton Ventures.

Gem Founder and CEO, Micah Winkelspecht, commented:

It was obvious to us immediately the Pelion team shared our vision for the future of blockchains and what would be required to get there. We’re excited to have Ben and Pelion join the team and help us do something special.

Gem has re-positioned itself from empowering developers to quickly build apps and solutions for bitcoin to being a blockchain developer for enterprises. The company indicated that it will use the funding to pivot and expand to meet a “growing mainstream demand for blockchain expertise.”

After some success with its multi-signature bitcoin API for developers, GEM is expanding its API to develop a modular platform for blockchain applications that can be applied to a variety of use cases across multiple industries.

The Gem management’s belief in opportunities for blockchain technology was articulated on the firm’s corporate blog on Wednesday:

The excitement around blockchain technology is high. We believe this technology will transform how we collaborate and share value. Blockchain networks will underpin entire industries, producing a “blockchain economy” that forms the underlying architecture of our daily lives: from capital markets to patient care, supply chains to logistics, property rights to digital rights management.

Gem was founded by Winkelspecht, received seed funding from Amplify.la and was launched at TechCrunch Disrupt SF’s Startup Battlefield in 2014.

Based in Venice, CA, Gem now has raised $10.4 million in total funding from investors that include Pelion Venture Partners, KEC Ventures, Blockchain Capital, Digital Currency Group, RRE Ventures, First Round Capital, Amplify.LA, Birchmere Labs, Tekton Ventures, Drummond Road Capital, Danmar Capital, MESA+, Metamorphic Ventures, Wavemaker Partners, Baroda Ventures, Idealab, BTCS Inc. (OTCQB: BTCS) and angel investors James Joaquin and Robert Wolfson.