by Diana Ngo
KPCB Edge, a seed-stage initiative by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, has publicly announced Edgecoin, a private, permissioned blockchain that the company has been testing since early 2015.
Edgecoin, a fork of Litecoin but with a few modifications, is being used as a recommendation system, the company said in a blog post.
Each of its founders and advisors is given a digital wallet that contains 10 edgecoins which he or she can send to another seed-founder. Sending a token to a company’s founder acts as a recommendation. KPCB Edge would schedule a meeting with the entrepreneur within 72 hours of when an edgecoin is used, it said.
“Edgecoin serves as a record of valuable ways our founders and advisers help us, allowing them to participate in the upside of successful companies,” KPCB said. “It also gives us a valuable dataset to observe how our network interacts, and to correlate these to a range of other outcomes of interest.”
In addition to the founders and advisors of its network, KPCB Edge said that it is partnering with Freada Kapor Klein, founder of the Level Playing Field Institute, and the team at Kapor Capital, to allow them to use edgecoins to “surface companies started by underrepresented founders, guaranteeing these founders direct partner meetings with Edge.”
Launched in June, KPCB Edge is a US$4 million fund aimed at backing 15 to 20 companies over the next twelve months. The fund focuses on six specific areas of technology: blockchains, virtual reality, drones, computer vision, digital health and mobile marketplaces.
According to the company:
“The most valuable companies being built in this space will use blockchains as a deliberate architectural choice in their stack, but in a way that’s invisible to end consumers. As far as consumers are concerned, these will be services that are cheaper, faster, and more secure than ever before.”
KPCB Edge has not made an investment in a blockchain technology company yet, but has been “actively searching for companies building groundbreaking technology and meaningful products in the space.”
So far, it had invested in seven startups: Mashgin, an automated retail checkout kiosk using computer vision; EnvelopVR, a software that enables people to create, work and play in virtual reality; Instant eSports, a one-stop shop for eSports fans; Trusted, a service that allows parents to review and select a same-day child care provider; Yoshit, an app to create, purchase and share custom apparel and accessories; Data Minded Solutions, a service that uses data to empower healthcare providers to transform care delivery and optimize patient outcomes; and Final, a service that replaces the one 16-digit credit card number with a disposable one-time use number.