Stealthy blockchain startup Core Scientific raising $100M, could reel in as much as $250M – GeekWire

Kevin Turner. (Photo via Core Scientific)

Secretive Seattle-area blockchain startup Core Scientific is raising a big $100 million investment round that could grow to $250 million.

Aber Whitcomb, co-founder and director, confirmed the numbers on Thursday after GeekWire spotted a new SEC filing that revealed the company’s plans to raise cash.

Whitcomb, a former CTO and co-founder at Myspace, declined to provide details about how Core Scientific will use the investment.

GeekWire first reported about Core Scientific in July, after former Microsoft COO Kevin Turner became CEO of the company that was founded late last year.

Core Scientific is building blockchain infrastructure technology. The startup is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., but its employees are spread across the country in places such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Knoxville, Tenn. It has a 253,000 square-foot facility on a 73-acre property that houses the company’s blockchain mining equipment.

The company’s leadership team has decades of experience in blockchain, energy, construction, and various industries. Its CFO, Mitch Edwards, was formerly the acting CEO at e-commerce giant Overstock.com — which has invested heavily in blockchain technology — and was previously CFO at Razer. Core Scientific Chief Data Officer Jim Benedetto co-founded Gravity, an AI startup acquired by AOL/Verizon in 2014.

The company’s LinkedIn page shows 45 employees, which is up from 15 in July. It has added key members to its senior leadership team in recent months, including:

  • Kristy-Leigh Minehan, chief technology officer, a blockchain expert and founder of The Mineority Group.
  • Matthew Bishop, chief administrative officer who was previously a corporate vice president at Microsoft.
  • Christy Barwick, corporate treasurer who most recently held that position for six years at Intellectual Ventures.
  • Sharon Orlopp, chief HR officer who was chief diversity officer and an HR exec at Walmart for four years.
  • Jim Cleveland, chief power officer with executive experience at IBM and Telxon.
  • Russell Cann, chief revenue officer who sold Elauwit Networks, FiberOne, and LogicSouth.

The company was previously led by Bryce Johnson, former partner at private equity firm Dragon Global Management.

Here’s a description of Core Scientific from the company’s LinkedIn page:

Core Scientific is a leader in Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence hosting, transaction processing and application development. In an increasingly distributed and connected world, we believe Blockchain and AI will fundamentally change the way information is processed, shared and stored across a range of industries.

Core Scientific is pioneering new innovations and best practices in this nascent landscape, with demonstrated capabilities operating Blockchain and AI infrastructure at scale. Our platform is trusted by large-scale partners around the world to deliver reliable solutions that quickly adapt to dynamic market conditions.

Blockchain technology, which promises better security and accountability through decentralized record-keeping, is attracting plenty of attention from a wide range of investors and companies. At the GeekWire Cloud Tech Summit this summer, Mark Russinovich, chief technology officer for Microsoft Azure, said the technology is moving from a romanticized cure-all to a real tool.

“Every single company we talk to is looking at how they can apply blockchain to various areas,” Russinovich said.

A new report from tech consulting firm Capgemini noted that blockchain “could become ubiquitous within seven years,” reported ZDNet.

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