Goldman Sachs-backed fintech company Blockdaemon plans to expand its presence in Galway as it searches for acquisitions.
he American company, developing blockchain technology under the hood for financial services companies, opened a base in Galway in 2018 and has since begun hiring remotely across Ireland.
It currently has 10 employees, seven in Galway and the others spread across the country.
Blockdaemon raised $ 28 million earlier this month, led by Greenspring Associates with Goldman Sachs and others participating in the round. It was the latest crypto and blockchain investment for Goldman Sachs.
The company builds and hosts the computer nodes that operate blockchain networks. His clients are financial services companies, including Citigroup, and other companies in the blockchain space, such as cryptocurrency exchanges.
Chief Operating Officer Cecily Mak, who joined the company from ConsenSys earlier this year, said Blockdaemon plans to double the size of the company over the next year, including additional hires in Ireland, which is its only international base.
“We flirted with opening up in other countries too, but so far and for the foreseeable future it seems that we will focus on Ireland and the US,” she said.
“Ireland is our fastest growing center for blockchain talent, especially engineers.”
She said the company will hire people remotely for certain positions nationwide as well as at its Galway location.
With its new funding, Blockdaemon will seek to grow through acquisitions, Mak added, to attract teams with coveted skills in the blockchain space.
Galway will serve as a focal point for those looking for business in the European region.
“The Sweet Spot is a smaller start-up with a lot of talented engineers. We looked across the board at a number of different categories in the crypto and blockchain space. “
Last week, cryptocurrency values took a hit, with Bitcoin dropping to $ 30,000 for the first time since January. It was valued at more than $ 60,000 just a few weeks ago.
The falling prices were in large part driven by tough regulatory measures in China, including bans on financial services companies from accepting Bitcoin, which led to investor sell-offs.
Mak said Blockdaemon’s business is largely shielded from volatile prices in cryptocurrencies as it provides services to companies that invest for the long term, particularly financial services companies that use blockchain technology.
“Interest rates haven’t shifted despite the pricing of the tokens, as we’ve seen in recent months in terms of volatility,” she said.
“Organizations, financial institutions and others who need the infrastructure solutions we provide need them regardless of whether the price of Bitcoin rises or falls.”
She added that customers invest with long-term views.
“I think the question of whether or not crypto will be relevant and important for fintech is long gone. Now there is a little scramble to see how quickly people are up to date. “