A lot of companies that are trying to consumerize virtual money phenom bitcoin have recently been funded in big numbers by a spate of venture firms.
Basically, their aim is to get in on the ground floor of the technology by trying to make it seem not so freaky to the normals (a.k.a. non-obsessive geeks and errant conspiracy theorists).
Among them is Xapo, started by Lemon founder Wences Casares, who sold that digital wallet platform to LifeLock for $43 million late last year. He then moved on to the Palo Alto, Calif., startup, which just got $20 million in funding from Benchmark and others for its bitcoin wallet and vault.
Soon after, Brightcove founder Jeremy Allaire sucked up $17 million for Circle Internet Financial to allow consumers to transact more safely and easily. And, previously, Andreessen Horowitz put $25 million into Coinbase’s bitcoin wallet.
In other words, a classic VC sheep stampede!
Actually, among all the bitcoiner fans in Silicon Valley — and they are wearying as the most irritating of missionaries can be in their efforts to convert you into the bitcoin religion — Casares is often mentioned as among the most dedicated and admired.
He also has a fantastic Argentinian accent, from his roots in the Patagonia region there, where Casares grew up on a sheep farm (sorry for the previous sheep joke, Wences!). As for the name? Casares jokes that that it’s an Indian goddess of prosperity and security — not so, but sounds good.
Bitcoin could use a lot of that — after a recent fall due to Chinese selling, the price has rebounded to just under $500 each. That said, it was once above $1,000. Presumably, it’s time to pray to Xapo.