Deals lag hype in ‘Blockchain for Good’ investments

  • Hype-cycle... For all the promise of blockchain-enabled technologies to solve a variety of global challenges, “blockchain for good” ventures have been slow to emerge.
  • The latest signal... Consensys' $50 million in-house venture fund is scaling back the social impact-focus of the fund.
  • Market development... If interest in blockchain-for-good is indeed ebbing, that just might mean it’s an opportunity to buy in.

Gramophone raises $1 million to provide advisory services and products to farmers

Many of India’s farmers have to travel long distances to get the help and products they need, and turn to agricultural suppliers for advice, which presents an inherent conflict of interest for companies selling supplies. Gramophone seeks to help farmers by building a mobile marketplace of farming inputs. The startup, based in Indore, north of

A Dad’s Story: How I learned to stop worrying and love the blockchain

Two whisperers stand on my shoulders, with conflicting messages about blockchain. On one shoulder is the former Silicon Valley CEO in me. This middle-aged guy whispers traditional business-school caution. Due diligence, risk-reward tradeoff, execution orientation, etc. He’s not a full-fledged curmudgeon, but is skeptical around new technology. On the other shoulder is the impact investor

Predible Health raises seed funds to diagnose cancer in India

Cancer claims around 700,000 lives in India each year. The figure is expected to climb to 1.2 million by 2035 owing to changing lifestyles and lack of early diagnostic and treatment resources, particularly in rural areas. Unitus Seed Fund has invested an undisclosed amount in diagnostics startup Predible. Predible uses artificial intelligence to help India’s limited supply

Precision irrigation startup Saturas raises $4 million from global investors

An Israeli farming collective, a Spanish winery and a Chinese fertilizer additives company were the investors in Israeli irrigation control company Saturas’s latest round. Saturas makes sensors for trees and crops that report when watering is needed, reducing unnecessary irrigation. The product, in development since 2013, is expected to launch this year. Renzong Wang of the