A new blockchain accelerator, MState, has found some high-profile backing.
News from Business Insider on Tuesday (Jan. 9) stated MState secured backing from IBM and Comcast Ventures. IBM will provide support services, while Comcast Ventures will provide funding, the publication said. MState itself plans to invest between $25,000 and $50,000 into six early-stage blockchain startups over the next six months.
Galvanize and Boldstart Ventures are also reportedly providing technical and financial backing to the accelerator, which will focus investments on startups using blockchain in several ares of the enterprise, including financial services like supply chain finance.
The first six winners of backing by the accelerator will be announced in February.
According to earlier reports from Bloomberg, MState Co-Founder Rob Bailey said the accelerator has plans to link chosen startups to Fortune 500 companies exploring implementation of blockchain-based tools in their own offices.
“There’s a massive opportunity in Fortune 500 companies,” he told the publication. “They don’t know which companies to work with.”
MState has already provided funding for one blockchain startup, BlockDaemon, a B2B company helping clients deploy blockchain apps. Reports said the accelerator could eventually expand its reach beyond blockchain into other areas, like artificial intelligence.
Analysts expect blockchain to be a huge investment target this year.
Analysis by Statista, covered by American Banker, estimated U.S. FinTech companies will pull in $4.7 billion in investments this year, with blockchain a key category.
“There’s a lot of interest right now in the ecosystem around finding the right use cases for blockchain technology,” Silicon Valley Bank Head of Payments Strategy and Solutions Reetika Grewal told the publication. “People are willing to put money into them, though there might not be a strong return on investment just yet. Are we going to hit the use case next year? I’m not sure. It’s still a young technology, so it will have continued investment and experimentation and learning from early solutions out there.”