BlockCypher, a blockchain web services company, has announced closure on a US$3.1M seed-funding round.

Participants included industry leaders in technology, Bitcoin and finance, such as Foundation Capital, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), AME Cloud Ventures, Upside Partnership, Streamlines Ventures and Fenox Venture Capital, as well as angel investors Jesse and Tim Draper, Shawn Byers, and hip-hop artist, Nas. 

The funds will be dedicated to expanding global coverage, continuing product developments and providing deeper analytics, BlockCypher said in a blog post. The startup also announced the release of its open-source block explorer to showcase different cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin and BlockCyper Testnest. 

"Most of the time in software you see improvements or iterations on existing frameworks but very seldom do you see brand new technology like block chains," stated CEO and co-founder Catheryne Nicholson.

BlockCypher aims to reduce barriers in building blockchain applications and to foster innovations by enabling developers to easily build, monitor and secure their applications.

The company claims to process around a half million events per day and counts among its customers BitPagos, Palarin, CoinSafe, Quid Systems and CoinHako, the first Asian Bitcoin startup to be selected to participate to Boost VC's accelerator program.

Brian Gamido, CEO at Palarin, a Filipino remittance company, explained why he chose BlockCypher for its blockchain services and stated:

"BlockCypher’s cloud approach allows teams to focus on application functionality rather than hosting Bitcoin infrastructure. I like their ability to quickly innovate and integrate cutting-edge block chain features into their solution."

Investors participating in the round commented on the news and expressed excitement in backing a project that "[enables] and [powers] the next wave of block chain applications," Rick Yang, partner at NEA, stated.

"We think one of the most promising areas in Bitcoin is in the block chain technology layer," commented Charles Moldow, general partner at Foundation Capital. "It’s where the greatest innovation is happening and it’s at the core of BlockCypher’s expertise."

Launched in late 2013, BlockCypher is headed by seasoned software veterans, Matthieu Riou and Nicholson. Riou is an architect with 14+ years experience working on complex systems at banking, software, and SaaS companies. Nicholson is an engineer with 15+ years in software product management, product marketing, and in various industries including environment, energy and defense.

In July 2014, BlockCypher released its multi-signature API, which was followed in late September by its payment API, an initiative aimed to "remove the dependence on merchant processors for payments," explained Nicholson at the time.  

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