November 19, 2015
Founded in May 2013, 21 Inc. is the first computer with native hardware and software support for the bitcoin protocol. Developers can use it to build bitcoin-payable apps and services. The embedded mining chip launched by 21 Inc. is called BitShare; it comes in a variety of form factors and can be used for micropayments, increasing chip sales and IP licensing, or as a new way for authentication. The company recently raised $121.1 million in two rounds of funding. The most recent round took place in March 2015 when the company raised $116 million (a record in the bitcoin sector) from the set of investors which included Andreessen Horowitz, RRE Venture, chipmaker Qualcomm, and founders from companies such as eBay, PayPal, Dropbox, Expedia and Zynga. Other companies backing 21 Inc. are Cisco, Khosla Ventures, Yuan Capital, Thiel Foundation and ZhenFund.
Affirm, Inc. is a next generation financial services company that offers consumers loans at POS with smaller monthly payments. Affirm is one of several Web startups experimenting with flexible loans by calculating the risk of borrowers based on a variety of personal data points, including information gleaned from social media profiles as well as the cost being purchased, rather than relying on FICO credit scores. It then determines what rate and structured payment makes sense to offer the customer. Recently, the company raised $275 million in Series B led by Spark Capital Growth, Jefferies and Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Previously, the company raised $50 million in Series A funding. Affirm was featured on LTP9 Leaderboard as one of the most promising companies in the technology-based personal lending space.
Bill.com (previously called CashView) is a platform with apps that enables businesses to get paid quickly online, pay their bills, and manage budgets and cash flow. Features offered by the company's platform include accounts payable, accounts receivable, cash flow management and pricing. Bill.com had gained recognition for its API that enables banks and financial institutions to integrate Bill.com’s service into their own websites, systems and applications. Two years ago, the company raised $38 million in a funding round led by new investors Scale Venture Partners, American Express, Bank of America, Pete Knight, Fifth Third Bank and Commerce Ventures. Since its founding in 2006, the company has raised more than $70 million. Earlier this year, Bill.com raised $50 million from new backer Silicon Valley Bank and existing investors. The existing network of the company in the past 12 months more than doubled to over 600,000 members. The amounts transferred through Bill.com reached $19 billion annually. Bill.com was listed by LTP as one of the 13 B2B payments