Venice-based Bitcoin API developer Gem announces the completion of a $2M seed funding round, and welcomes former Paypal executive Ken Miller as Chief Operating Officer.

The funding round was led by First Round Capital and Tekton Ventures, and features global venture capital firms including RRE Ventures, MESA+, Amplify.LA, Birchmere Labs, Idealab, ECEG, Partners, Baroda Ventures, Wavemaker Labs, Bitcoin Shop, Inc., Crypto Currency Partners, QED Associates, as well as business angel James Joaquin.

The $2M seed round funding is said to help accelerate the growth of Gem's full-stack API, launched couple weeks ago in private beta at TechCrunch Disrupt.

Gem was the first ever Bitcoin-related startup to be selected as one of the 30 companies competing at TechCrunch's Disrupt San Francisco's Startup Battlefield. “The startup was chosen to introduce its convenience and security-centered full-stack API, a solution that can be deployed by developers in minutes,” read the launch announcement.  

Howard Morgan, partner at seed-stage funding specialized venture capital firm First Round Capital said he believed Gem's unique security platform was "game-changing" for the industry:

"We really feel they are positioned to become a leader as Bitcoin disrupts banking and payments."

Jim Robinson, co-founder and managing partner at early-stage venture capital firm RRE Ventures, qualified Gem's solution as the "disruptive innovation that has been lacking in the payments industry."

According to Gem's CEO and co-founder Micah Winkelspecht, all investors contributed not just their capital and network, but also deep strategic advice, and added:

"With this funding, our team is well-positioned to continue building the world's most highly scalable and security-focused API, and continue to add key talent to the team."

- L to R: Micah Winkelspecht, Andreas Antonopolis, Steve Beauregard (GoCoin)

The CEO also shared his ambition of becoming the "all-in-one platform to develop Bitcoin apps", and said the company's objective was to help Bitcoin developers to focus only on the overall product vision, without needing expertise in cryptography, security and the Bitcoin protocol.

Former vice-president of Risk Management at Paypal Ken Miller joined Gem's team as Chief Operating Officer and will provide with his expertise in online payments, banking and business strategy. The executive believes Gem's platform will allow them to "drive mainstream user adoption of Bitcoin with the next generation of great apps." However, Miller thinks Gem will not only help find innovative ways of managing Bitcoin funds, but also any other digital asset:

"The potential for an all-in-one Bitcoin development platform and the rise of new and exciting Bitcoin apps opens the door to new, innovative ways of managing not only Bitcoin funds securely, but eventually any digital asset, and that was a technical and financial services revolution I wanted to help drive."

Formerly BitVault, Gem is defined as a simple and secure platform for storing digital currencies "built by developers for developers." Gem's full-stack API allows developers to build applications in minutes with only a few lines of codes, while providing bank-grade security on digital currency funds. 

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