Web3 infrastructure startup EthSign has raised $12 million in a seed funding round and all three units of the Sequoia VC — Sequoia Capital, Sequoia Capital India and Sequoia Capital China — have backed its round.
This is the first time all three units of Sequoia have participated in a funding round in general, and not just in the crypto space, a Sequoia Capital India spokesperson told The Block. A Sequoia Capital spokesperson also separately confirmed that this is the first time all three units are in a single round.
Sequoia Capital India co-led EthSign’s seed round along with Mirana Ventures. Other investors in the round included Amber Group, Circle Ventures, NGC Ventures, HashKey Group, and Matrixport. Angel investors including Balaji Srinivasan, Tegan Kline (The Graph), Sandeep Nailwal (Polygon), Sid Powell (Maple Finance) and Thomas Vu (Riot Games), also backed the round.
EthSign raised the funds via a simple agreement for future tokens (SAFT) sale, its co-founder Potter Li told The Block in an interview. Sequoia Capital India first committed to the round. Then it referred the deal to Sequoia Capital, and Li personally knew Sequoia China executives, so that’s how all three units got onboarded, said Li.
EthSign is like a decentralized version of DocuSign, according to Li. It allows users to sign and manage agreements electronically. Users can log in to EthSign via crypto wallets such as MetaMask, upload documents, and electronically sign it.
To move a step further, EthSign is now planning to launch an execution platform called Smart Agreements. It will allow users to execute signed agreements via smart contracts based on predetermined conditions.
“Smart Agreement is a self-executable contract with escrow funds. You can preset conditions, predeposit funds in an escrow account, and if those conditions are met, escrow funds will be released to a concerned party,” explained Li.
The EthSign Smart Agreements platform is slated to launch in the third quarter of this year.
EthSign currently does not charge for its services, but it plans to levy a tax on escrow transactions once the execution platform is launched, said Li. Its current users include MetaMask and Amber Group.
There are currently 15 people working for EthSign and Li along with his two co-founders Xin Yan and Jack Xu plans to increase the team size to about 25 people in the near future.
Eventually, EthSign intends to turn into a decentralized autonomous organization and launch its own token. “Right now, we are focused on building great products and have our network effect,” said Li.
The seed round brings EthSign’s total funding to date to $12.65 million. The startup previously raised $650,000 in a pre-seed round early last year.
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