Earlier this year, Chicago-based Nuvei raised $20 million for its blockchain division, Icechain, which will help companies secure their business currency in cryptocurrencies.
As smartphone-beaming startups expanded beyond their initial idea and the investors started looking for unicorns, they would invest in early-stage companies with business models that were much closer to these start-ups than to a traditional venture. The best way to do this is to look at new trends like ICOs, because these companies are flush with money, often willing to write checks with smaller amounts of money, because it could pay off much bigger in a few years.
The two primary payments companies that find themselves directly up against Nuvei are Square and Stripe, which both have extensive business-to-business verticals. In their recent initial public offerings, both companies pulled in sales of $1 billion in 2017, one point too few to be deemed “unicorns.”
The blockchain business, meanwhile, is the real thing to bet on in this hardware-driven revolution. We at the Data Center Knowledge show disowned ICOs for their speculative nature and promise, but blockchain could transform the way companies do business, from securing financial transactions to negotiating farm contracts. While this could be a decoy for early-stage capital investors, blockchain is the type of technology that will be developed for the next few years by major organizations, like Comcast and IBM, that already have the massive customers that Square is targeting.
After all, companies don’t need to invent new payments systems—they can completely rewrite old ones.