Samsung And Salesforce Invests In Enterprise Blockchain Firm Digital Asset
Enterprise blockchain firm Digital Asset declared an additional Series C investment of an undisclosed price from Samsung Venture Investment Corp (SVIC) and Salesforce Ventures. The initial $35 million Series C ended last December.
At the time, Digital Asset did not disclose the investors. Still, most were existing shareholders, which involve the likes of Citi, Accenture, ASX, Broadridge, JP Morgan, Deutsche Börse, IBM, DTCC, Goldman Sachs, and others. $10 million originated from the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), where Digital Asset’s technology makes the foundation of its new CHESS settlement system.
It’s been ten months since Digital Asset open-sourced its smart contract language, DAML, which is presently the focus of its business model. A key differentiator is DAML’s adaptability with multiple blockchains as well as conventional databases.
Soon after DAML was open-sourced, Salesforce started its blockchain solution, which is based on Hyperledger Sawtooth, one of the DAML supported platforms. The Digital Assets team would not be carried on any particular production directions. Still, it’s not unreasonable to envision DAML being consolidated into Salesforce’s blockchain solution. The question is whether Salesforce might leverage the smart contract language past blockchain.
“Salesforce Ventures and Samsung joining our Series C financing round demonstrates the potential that technology giants see in DAML as the standard for smart contracts,” stated Yuval Rooz, co-founder, and CEO of Digital Asset.
Salesforce Ventures has funded in more than 375 companies, including Dropbox and Stripe.
Digital Asset now has two big tech deals under its belt, mixing DAML with VMWare blockchain and Amazon AWS products.
“It’s interesting to see the technology companies coming into this space. We’ve seen that over the last couple of years,” remarked Dan O’Prey, CMO at Digital Asset and former Chair of the Hyperledger Marketing Committee. “It’s interesting to see how this is going to play out and which business models are going to be compatible with working in a world of these technology giants.”
Returning to Samsung, SVIC had $2.2 billion assets under management as of last March. Newly Digital Asset would not be drawn on possible applications, though Samsung SDS is known for its Nexledger platform, which helps both Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric. Fabric is one of the DAML supported blockchain platforms.
A Samsung spokesperson stated: “We strongly believe that Digital Asset’s model for embedding DAML in partner platforms fundamentally changes the entire blockchain market.”
DAML currently helps VMWare Blockchain, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Sawtooth, Corda, and Amazon’s quasi-blockchain QLDB as well as Aurora. Digital Asset affirmed that Ethereum compatibility is on the roadmap but not a contemporary high priority, although allies are exploring it.
“From our point of view, we’re getting a lot of interest to integrate DAML into multiple platforms, and we have to prioritize the ones that we see the most commercial demand for,” stated O’Prey. He explained that he believed there would be a DAML supported Ethereum platform shortly.
O’Prey also chatted about the other news. Ex Microsoft executive Susan Hauser, an existing advisor, is entering the board. She was previously VP of Microsoft’s Enterprise and Partner Group so that she will make her enterprise sales expertise to the team.
“As we worked with her as an advisor, it quickly became clear how much value she could provide to us as a company, and she was equally fascinated by the potential for this technology and how we can bring it to market through multiple different verticals,” said O’Prey.