New blockchain tech firm Atlas City Global lands $4m investment
Atlas City Global, a London-based start-up focusing on blockchain, has secured $4 million in seed investment from Robert A Hefner III and a number of other high net-worth individuals.
Hefner is founder and owner of The Hefner Group (THG), which specialises in technology investments, and is also known to have pioneered the exploitation of ultra-deep natural gas via his GHK Company.
“I backed Atlas City because I believe in the dream and the abilities of the founder Darren Oliveiro-Priestnall,” he explains. “Darren’s passion is to overcome the many problems of early blockchain technologies by starting from a clean slate and building a safe, more scalable, significantly faster, energy-efficient and easy to use distributed ledger technology.
“I believe the Catalyst Network will begin to not only restore ownership of personal data, and intellectual property to the creators, but also facilitate a new wave of safe, innovative, efficient, and less-costly global commerce and communication solutions in ways barely imaginable today.”
The funding will be used to complete Atlas City’s global decentralised web and support the final stage development of its Catalyst Network. Catalyst is a full suite of new technologies – built fully from the ground over the last few years – “enabling secure decentralised computing and data storage that will shape a new world of web, IoT connectivity and the future of Industry, government and commerce”, according to the company.
Oliveiro-Priestnall says there has already been interest from the companies in the gas and oil, supply chain, food provenance, energy and utility sectors, with a number of pilots and proofs-of-concept (POCs) underway.
“Unlike the more common approach to fund raising through token generation events, which raise money first and then often fail to go on to deliver technology, Atlas City is developing the technology first and launching a viable network with real products and services running before inviting the public to buy tokens,” Oliveiro-Priestnall states.
“We are fully funding development to ensure users experience the benefits of the network, launching a fully viable mainnet [a blockchain protocol which is fully developed and deployed where transactions are being broadcasted, verified, and recorded] on Day Zero.”
Catalyst is set to launch in H2 2019, “designed as an open source, fast, light, secure and scalable network, that is accessible to .Net developers – the largest developer community in the world”. Once it is fully operational in 2020, the firm is committed to handing over governance to the broader community, he adds.
“The current world of blockchain started with the promise of decentralisation, democracy and widespread efficient business uses; however, the technology has struggled with real-world problems,” Atlas City says. “Issues of cost, ability to scale and level of difficulty to build practical applications have stalled its widespread adoption by global business, commerce and governments. Catalyst has been built from scratch to solve these challenges.”
The company describes its offering as “game-changing”. The technology will take the application possibilities for DLT to new levels, it promises, “and in ways that previous blockchain technologies were never designed to do”.
Atlas City has a team of 20 people, with Sir Mark Weinberg, a prominent British financier (founder of Hambro Life Assurance/Allied Dunbar and St. James’s Place Wealth Management, amongst other achievements), as chairman of the board.