Serial investor Gary Cardone, the co-founder and former CEO of Clearwater-based fraud mitigation company Chargebacks 911, is doubling his investment into a blockchain nodes management startup.
Earlier this year, Cardone injected $4 million into New York-based startup Node 40 through his Card1Ventures venture capital company. He has now pumped $8 million into the company as it plans to raise a $12 million Series A round. The startup, founded in 2014, was created to simplify the accounting of crypto transactions — from purchases to transfers to sales — on and off the blockchain by tracking digital assets, according to its website.
“We have proven what we are trying to achieve by focusing on an institutional product that can serve the likes of the largest financial firms,” Cardone said, listing the addressable investment banks and fintech giants such as Goldman Sachs, Fidelity and Ernst and Young.
Node40 will use the additional funding to expand into different verticals, such as the supply chain, health care and banking.
“Most companies will raise money to build software for the consumer – that is not my interest. These firms need this for regulation and forensics,” he said. Much like Chargebacks 911, which helps merchants manage transactional funds, Node40 is targeting the value-end user.
“If I didn’t discover this company, I would have kept investing in Bitcoin. This product gives me deep access to the crypto market and removes the volatility of the underlying asset,” Cardone said.
Cardone and Node40 CEO Perry Woodin became acquainted last year after Cardone heard that local investors were eyeing the company.
He connected with Woodin via LinkedIn, inviting Woodin to visit and stay at his Tierra Verde estate. Over a two-week period with Woodin staying at Cardone’s home, the duo built a trusted relationship, leading to the execution of an agreement.
Cardone promised to funnel the initial $4 million in exchange for control of the commercialization of Node40’s business-to-business model, while Woodin’s team would remain fully focused on creating the tech behind the product.
“No one has built any guideposts around the industry, and that’s not unusual,” Cardone said about the overall blockchain sector. “Despite what regulators say, every business that’s innovative and built on the leading edge of technology will attract the Ponzi Schemes, bad players. The real players come into the market, and they need the same tools for their legacy investments in real estate, bonds and equities.
“This [Node40] will be a $4 billion business that can exit,” Cardone said. “I’ve done this before from my wallet [backing businesses], and I’ll do it again.”