By Andrew FennellyAhead of a meeting with tech CEOs in New York this week, Microsoft said it has raised $50 million in a new round of financing to build the first publicly available blockchain machine tools.
The company, which also makes software for smart meters and home security, said it plans to open the first of its blockchain platform in the United States in the coming months.
The platform, Microsoft says, will be used to help businesses manage data, improve efficiency, and streamline operations.
“We’re building a platform that can help businesses with all kinds of challenges from financial management to security, and this is the first time it’s been publicly available,” David Sirota, chief operating officer at Microsoft, told investors at the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday.
Sirota also noted that the company was also working on a new blockchain tool that will allow for the sale of data.
He did not specify when the platform would go live.
Microsoft’s $50-million investment comes as tech companies increasingly look for ways to improve their ability to monetize and sell data.
The move by Microsoft follows the $100-million purchase of a blockchain-based platform by the world’s biggest e-commerce platform Amazon.
The platform, called BlockChain, will enable companies to sell data to each other and the public on a more decentralized platform.
Amazon has already launched a marketplace for selling data on the blockchain, but the company did not provide an initial public offering.
BlockChain is part of Microsoft’s effort to build its own blockchain platform.
Microsoft previously said it would open a prototype in the first half of 2018.