Israeli Startup Orbs Raises “7-Figure” Investment from S. Korea Internet Firm Kakao

Orbs, an Israeli startup developing a hybrid blockchain complementing and scaling base-layer protocols such as Ethereum, has raised a “seven-figure” US dollar investment from Kakao Investment, the venture arm of the leading South Korean Internet conglomerate Kakao. Orbs said on Thursday that the new capital will be used to further the protocol’s development and growth.

Founded in 2017, Orbs is building a public blockchain acting as middleware solution for large-scale consumer decentralized applications (DApps). The technology is designed to support interoperability with multiple base-layer blockchains.

Orbs announced earlier this year that its production ready environment will go live in early 2019 and has been actively working with partners to help the onboarding process.

Orbs illustration
Illustration via

Daniel Peled, CEO and co-founder of Orbs, said the investment from Kakao, the operator of South Korea’s number one messaging app KakaoTalk with 220 million registered users, hinted at the firm’s confidence on the future of DApps on South Korea and showcased the rapid growth of the Orbs platform in the Asian country.

“With Kakao’s consumer applications counting more than 50 million active users worldwide, the investment in Orbs represents a significant endorsement of the long-term potential of our technology,” said Peled.

“Kakao Investment’s relationship with Orbs reflects our regional strength and the potential we offer to make blockchain a powerful growth engine for its business units. Kakao was among the first major tech companies to recognize that blockchain is the future, and Orbs is excited to be a bigger part of that journey.”

The investment comes alongside the partnership between Orbs and Kakao’s blockchain subsidiary Ground X. Announced in August, the collaboration focuses on developing blockchain applications for the Kakao network as well as research and development (R&A) efforts.

Commenting on his firm’s investment in Orbs, Kris Park, executive director of Kakao Investment, said:

“Kakao Investment is focused on identifying key trendsetters and innovators in the blockchain sector and Orbs is a great example. The company has developed an innovative business model and possesses unique technological capabilities, enabling us to support the company and maximize its potential.”

Besides Ground X, Orbs has also partnered with blockchain stablecoin project Terra on R&D efforts. Orbs raised US$118 million in its initial coin offering (ICO) in June.

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