Foundation Devices Inc., the maker of bitcoin-centric tools including hardware and software wallets, said Monday that it has closed a $7 million seed round led by Polychain Capital to expand its product development.
The round was joined by new investors including Greenfield Capital and Lightning Ventures, and existing investors Third Prime, Warburg Serres, Unpopular Ventures and Bolt.
The company was founded in April 2020 with the objective of producing products that make bitcoin and other decentralized ledger technologies safely available to everyone. The company’s flagship product is Passport, a next-generation hardware wallet with a $259 price tag that was designed with security in mind. It also provides mobile wallet software called Envoy for those who want the convenience of using their smartphone.
Hardware wallets, also known as “cold storage,” work by keeping the private keys for wallets secure by making sure they’re not connected to the internet or any network except briefly when they’re needed for a transaction. Security of these devices is achieved by having powerful encryption to prevent attackers from accessing the onboard information and only having it unlocked only when it’s needed by the users to complete said transactions.
Envoy can also act as a companion app to the Passport wallet by enabling users to quickly send and receive bitcoins while keeping their private keys stored safely on the hardware wallet. It also allows users to easily download and install the latest Passport firmware updates right from their phone, which are installed using microSD adapters. It also provides complete supply chain validation to ensure that the Passport has not been tampered with.
To further the privacy process for users, Envoy also uses the Tor network, short for The Onion Router, an open-source communication network that anonymizes network traffic on the internet. “Preserving freedom and privacy is more important than ever amidst worldwide censorship, privacy violations, and reckless financial and monetary policies,” said Zach Herbert, co-founder and chief executive of Foundation Devices.
The funding round comes shortly after the release of the second generation of the Passport hardware wallet and a recent upsurge in interest in hardware wallets after the catastrophic collapse of the centralized crypto exchange FTX. In the past 18 months, Foundation said that its device has been gaining traction and thousands of Passport devices have been sold.
“The Foundation team has been creating gorgeous, incredibly secure, yet easy-to-use products that further an individual’s ability to self-custody crypto assets,” said Will Wolf, partner at Polychain Capital.
A new version of Envoy was recently released and it is available on iOS and Android from the App Store and Google Play store.