We’re pleased to announce that OB1 has raised a new round of funding in order to make OpenBazaar the most free and open trade platform in the world. Last year, OpenBazaar entered a new phase when the core development team received funding to create a company in order to properly develop the peer-to-peer trade platform. OB1 worked hard, together with developers from the community, to release OpenBazaar 1.0 in April. Seeing people around the world trading without middlemen and only using Bitcoin has been exciting, and after learning how to make major improvements we’re now working to make peer-to-peer trade better than ever with the 2.0 version of the software. Details of the new funding are in the press release below. We’re fortunate to have investors who understand the value of networks, decentralization, and Bitcoin. We believe that with such good investors, developers, and our community, we can fundamentally change how online commerce is done. Let’s make trade free!
OpenBazaar Company OB1 Raises New Funding Round
Washington, DC, — Dec 13, 2016 – OpenBazaar-based company OB1 today announced it has raised a new round of funding from BlueYard, Union Square Ventures, and Andreessen Horowitz totalling $3 million in order to further its mission of making trade free for everyone, everywhere. Brad Burnham - managing partner at Union Square Ventures - said, “The reach and diversity of OpenBazaar usage shows the potential for decentralized applications: within a week of its release, buyers and sellers from 129 countries joined the network and began transacting with each other for free. We believe OpenBazaar has an opportunity to fundamentally transform the market structure of commerce, and we’re excited to welcome BlueYard as a new partner and co-investor in OB1.” OB1 previously raised a $1 million seed round from Union Square Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and angel investor William Mougayar in May of 2015 in order to build and launch OpenBazaar, a completely decentralized marketplace that allows anyone in the world to buy and sell anything to anyone else, anywhere, for free. The peer-to-peer software isn’t controlled by any company or organization, allowing its participants to engage in trade directly with each other using Bitcoin. By removing the intermediaries for commerce online, OpenBazaar enables its users to avoid paying fees or having their trade controlled by middlemen. OpenBazaar has been used by tens of thousands of people internationally since its launch in April of this year. This new round of funding will allow OB1 - with assistance from contributors around the world - to continue improving the open source software and growing the peer-to-peer trade community. OB1 is among an ecosystem of businesses building on the OpenBazaar software and offering their own services to users on the network. OB1 CEO Brian Hoffman said, “After launch we were so excited to see how people have been using OpenBazaar, and with this new funding we’re confident it will allow us to bring the benefits of truly free and open trade to the world.” The OB1 team has written about their vision for the future of OpenBazaar - including the upcoming 2.0 version of the software - in this article.
We have a great community behind this open source project. If you’d like to join our community, come visit us in our Slack group. If you’re a developer, we’d love help with the 2.0 version of the software, both client and server repositories. If you’re not a developer but you’ve used OpenBazaar, we want to hear from you in order to make the 2.0 version the best it can be. We have a buyer survey and a vendor survey to learn what works and what doesn’t.