Deals

Floating technology incubator gets cash infusion from Facebook funder Peter Thiel

thiel

Blueseed, a new incubator to be based on a ship 12 miles off the California coast, will see its first round of funding led by big-name investor Peter Thiel.

The floating “seastead” will host 1,000 entrepreneurs just a few miles from San Francisco. Its main draw is its location in international waters — a perfect, if temporary, solution for non-U.S. entrepreneurs looking for a way to get closer to Silicon Valley.

The team is attempting to raise a half million dollars between now and next summer; this is the round Thiel has volunteered to lead. In the past, Thiel has been very vocal in his support of seasteading.

While Congress and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services struggle with issues around visas and other legal requirements for foreign entrepreneurs doing business in the States, the Blueseed founders have taken matters into their own hands.

The Blueseed team includes CEO Max Marty, the son of two Cuban immigrants and former director at the Seasteading Institute (another Thiel-funded project); Dario Mutabdzija, also a former Seasteading Institute director; and Dan Dascalescu, formerly a software developer at Yahoo.

After raising this initial seed round, Blueseed will need to raise a larger round to buy the ship that will house the entrepreneurs; currently, the team estimates needing between $10 million and $30 million for this ambitious project.

The ship will be a live-work-play barge or yacht within ferrying distance of San Francisco or Silicon Valley. Ideally, the team hopes to offer 24-hour catering, a gym, entertainment areas, modern office spaces, shops and high-speed Internet access. Basic accommodations will cost around $1,200 per person, per month — a significant discount from what one might expect to pay to live in or near San Francisco.