The venture capital arm of Foxconn has joined a $7 million Series A round in Cambridge Blockchain, a startup that specializes in helping enterprises ensure they know who their customers are in compliance with regulatory requirements.The equity investment round, joined by Partech Ventures and Digital Currency Group, consists of both the conversion of existing debt and an infusion of new capital, bringing the total amount raised to $9 million, including a seed round last year.
Over the next two years, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based firm, founded in 2015, plans to use the funds to build out its enterprise data management software, which is paradoxically geared toward both protecting identities and streamlining know-your-customer compliance for internet-connected devices. “This funding is a critical milestone and reflects the progress we've made in becoming the leading blockchain-based identity solution for enterprises,” said Matthew Commons, Cambridge Blockchain’s founder and CEO.
Commons expects the company to formally launch in Luxembourg later this year with as many as 600,000 end users and previously announced partnerships with publicly traded IHS Markit, valued at $20.6 billion and European trust services provider LuxTrust. While both Partech Ventures and Digital Currency Group participated in Cambridge Blockchain’s seed round, the round announced today mark’s Foxconn’s first investment in the company.
Beyond Foxconn’s role manufacturing Apple’s iPhone, the manufacturing giant formally known as Hon Hai Precision brings with it a growing catalog of blockchain experience.
The Taiwan-based firm, which is ranked number nine on the Forbes Global 2000 list of top regarded companies, earlier this year joined a $250 million investment in hedge funder Michael Novogratz’s crypto-bank and last year spun off a blockchain supply chain trade finance startup with the Dianrong P2P lending platform.
Going forward, Jack Lee, the founding managing partner of HCM Capital, Foxconn’s venture capital arm, told Forbes his parent company is exploring multiple possible deployments of Cambridge Blockchain’s shared identity system for industrial internet services, supply chain finance data registration and more.
But he added the caveat that the work was still in its early days:
It’s just a first few initial contacts/meetings on the concepts with Cambridge, and of course, business teams keep engaging with Matt’s team for more detailed discussions.