Tencent Leads $20 Million Funding for Blockchain Startup EverledgerAuthor: Justinas BaltrusaitisLast Updated: September 24, 2019 Everledger—the UK-based blockchain startup has amassed $20 million in a Series A funding round, steered by China’s tech giant Tencent. This is according to an announcement made on September 23.The Series A funding round comprised other investors such as Graphene Ventures, Rakuten, Bloomberg Beta, Vickers Venture Partners, and Fidelity, which invested in the company a total of $30.4 million.The blockchain-based company Everledger offers digital records to businesses and individual consumers in a “secure and transparent” manner. The startup utilizes blockchain technology to store data, focusing on the characteristics, conditions, and ownership of precious assets such as diamonds.For instance, Everledger employs Diamond Time-Lapse Protocol, which uses the blockchain to keep information on diamonds from extraction to the point of sale and beyond. This service helps the involved parties to trace the size, ownership, and quality among other aspects of the assets. Blockchain Valuable for Tracking AssetsEverledger reveals that using blockchain technology to track assets leads to “greater clarity and confidence in the marketplaces where transparency is a strategic imperative.”The startup will use the money generated in the Series A funding to execute its expansion plans.Speaking about the new development, Everledger Founder Leanne Kemp said:“Having this strong investor cohort join us at this stage in our development is both validation of the innovation of our innovation we’ve displayed to date, and a statement of future intent.”Kemp went on to say that the investors would support the company in bringing more visibility to better business practices in sectors that affect millions if not billions of people living in third-world countries.Even after the funding round, Everledger will continue collaborating with the Chinese tech giant Tencent to provide blockchain-tracked diamonds to customers of its WeChat messaging service.Slowdown in Blockchain InvestmentThe funding round was a success, despite the slowdown in blockchain investment.A recent report by Outlier Ventures—a venture platform, entitled State of Blockchains Q2 2019, states that blockchain startups generated a total of $822 million in venture capital in the first half of 2019. In 2018, a total of $3.9 billion was raised, calling for a deficit of more than $3 billion compared with this year’s figures.Praising the previous achievements, Outlier Ventures head of research Lawrence Lundy-Bryan mentioned that 2018 blockchain investment was an “outsized” bull market.The blockchain industry in 2018 saw a spurted growth resulting from venture capitalists looking for new ways to join the blockchain bandwagon aside from investing in Bitcoin. Some of the leading blockchain-based projects in 2018 were Dfinity ($163 million) and Sequoia Capital ($400 million).According to Outlier Ventures report, “conservative investing has become the norm” this year (2019). Investors opt to invest bigger sums in later and final stage startups that have proven viable.