New blockchain and cryptocurrency companies are popping up every month in Texas. And they’re growing fast – from startup to Nasdaq in less than a year in some cases.
It’s “incredibly competitive,” said Giorgi Khazaradze, CEO of Dallas-based crypto startup Aurox. “If you don’t read updates on crypto news for a day, you’re behind,” he said.
As competition surges left and right, Khazaradze said it’s all about who can hire the best developers fastest to develop the product.
Here are 10 space companies to watch in North Texas. Most of them started within the last five years and have ambitious plans for the next five years.
Hedera was founded in Dallas in 2018 by Mance Harmon and Dr. Leemon Baird, who won Emerging Company CEO and Technology Inventor awards, respectively, this year from Tech Titans, Texas’ largest technology business organization. The founders met in the Air Force in 1993 while researching machine learning and both ended up teaching computer science at the Air Force Academy.
The company is building on the technology they created, Hashgraph, an alternative to blockchain that’s “much more secure and faster,” Harmon said. Hedera is the largest blockchain organization in North Texas. It has a board of 26 leading organizations, including Google and Boeing, which govern the network and carry out activities such as pricing and the company’s regulatory posture, among other tasks.
Blockmetrix is a crypto mining company founded last May in Dallas by five North Texas investment leaders and industry experts. Blockmetrix has raised over $50 million in venture capital and $25 million in debt funding, primarily to fund additional mining rigs. The team of five has an office in the Rolex building in the Harwood district. The founders said the company has positive earnings and they are considering the possibility of going public.
Applied Blockchain began trading on the Nasdaq in April, less than a year after starting operations last summer. The company makes money by buying land and building co-housing facilities to rent to miners and other customers. He raised around $50 million last summer. The company started in 2001 to provide staffing services to film productions. Before jumping on the crypto bandwagon in 2021, it had been a front company since 2015. Applied Blockchain has 47 full-time employees and seven independent contractors on its team, which works from an office on Turtle Creek Boulevard.
Riot Blockchain, which focuses on bitcoin mining, is based in Castle Rock, Colorado, but its facility operates in Rockdale and is working on an expansion into Corsicana. The company, which trades on the Nasdaq, reported revenue of about $80 million for the first three months of 2022, up 244% from the same quarter last year.
Dallas-based crypto software company Aurox helps route crypto traders to different exchanges and collects fees on order volume. It was launched to the public in September 2020 to help simplify crypto trading. In 2021, its trading volume exceeded $600 million and its users grew to 70,000. In February, it announced a $5 million investment round. With plans to go public in 2022, Aurox plans to release a Web3 wallet to simplify the user experience in decentralized finance.
Ali Agha founded Olypsis in Dallas in 2017 using the money he earned as an early investor in Ethereum. The company uses blockchain to create software applications for businesses. Agha said he noticed in 2017 that despite the excitement around blockchain, few companies were focusing on entrepreneurial opportunities, he said. The company makes about $500,000 in sales a year, he said.
Shardus builds distributed ledger software to address issues with traditional blockchains, including scalability. Shardus co-founder Omar Syed has 30 years of experience building distributed systems for organizations such as NASA, where he worked for 12 years, as well as Yahoo and Raytheon. The Richardson-based company has 10 people on its growing team.
The Arcadia group
Rasikh Morani founded The Arcadia Group in Dallas in 2017. The company provides security and development services to blockchain companies to help mitigate security vulnerabilities. The global organization has approximately 45 employees, all of whom work remotely. Morani said the company has seen “crazy growth” since its inception.
Dallas-based startup Zabo, a crypto account aggregator, was purchased by leading US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase in August 2021. Zabo allows users to see all of their accounts in one place by connecting data to crypto wallets . The company was three years old when Coinbase bought it.
The world’s largest Bitcoin ATM operator, Coinsource, is based in Fort Worth, where it was founded in 2015. Coinsource charges 11% nationwide and it has over 2,500 Bitcoin ATMs . The company claims to have a Bitcoin ATM within a 15-minute drive of 80% of the US population. This month it announced a partnership with Kwik Trip, a convenience store and gas station with more than 800 retail stores.