Singapore: Blockchain startup Bluezelle raises $1m from China’s NEO Global

Bluzelle CEO Pavel Bains (left) and CTO Neeraj Murarka at NEO's Developer Conference earlier this year. Photo: Bluzelle blog

Blockchain-based database provider Bluzelle on Thursday announced raising $1 million from NEO Global Capital, the investment arm of China’s blockchain platform NEO.

The funding round comes after Bluzelle’s $19.5-million initial coin offering (ICO) in January. The ICO saw the company sell a third of its 500 million tokens to investors including Kenetic Capital, Hashed, Kryptonite 1 and 8 Decimal Capital.

Bluzelle offers a decentralized, blockchain-based database platform that distributes data across many nodes, instead of storing all information in a centralized cloud system, to increase data security and reduce the chance of hacks.

“We have long admired Bluzelle’s ambition to become the Oracle of decentralized Database-as-a-Service (DDaaS), and we see their technology as being an integral part of the NEO ecosystem,” said Roger Lim, Partner at NEO Global Capital.

“NEO has a bold vision to accelerate the adoption of blockchain in Asia, and is working closely with both industry and regulatory bodies to make it a commercial reality. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work more closely with them to significantly advance the progress of blockchain in Asia,” said Bluzelle co-founder and CEO Pavel Bains.

In February, the blockchain startup announced it had joined Chinese e-commerce major JD.com’s AI & blockchain startup accelerator.

Bluzelle was founded in Vancouver, Canada in July 2014 and initially focused only on payment systems. The startup moved its base to Singapore in 2016 to capitalise on Asia’s growth potential and provide blockchain infrastructure for on-premise deployment to clients that include AIA, Maybank and Temenos.

In August 2017, Bluzelle raised a $1.5-million Series A round joined by Japan’s Global Brain, LUN Partners Capital and True Global Ventures.

China’s NEO competes with Ethereum to be the platform for choice for decentralised applications, ICOs and smart contracts. Its investment arm NEO Global Capital has invested in several blockchain-related projects including high throughput blockchain platform Zilliqa, peer-to-peer payment network Trinity and decentralised internet of things (IoT) platform Ruffchain.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.