In July, two venture capital funds raised more than $350 million to invest in cryptocurrency and blockchain startups.
The volume of investments in crypto startups has fallen for five consecutive quarters. But some venture capitalists are still making multi-million dollar bets on blockchain projects.
Fortune’s source said Polychain Capital, one of the most prominent venture capital firms in the cryptocurrency space. And has raised about $200 million in its fourth fund. This fundraising can be considered a positive signal for the industry. The event indicates continued investor interest, despite a period when the volume of funding has decreased for both startups and venture capital firms.
The event indicates the continuing interest of investors. And despite the period when the volume of funding has decreased for both startups. As well as for venture capital firms.
Founded in 2016 by Olaf Carlson-Wee – one of the first employees of the Coinbase exchange – Polychain Capital has quickly joined the list of leaders in the cryptocurrency venture capital market. The firm has invested in Coinbase, Uniswap, CoilnList, dYdX, Matrixport, Scroll and dozens of others.
According to Pitchbook, Polychain has raised three funds with $2.6 billion in assets under management, and while this amount is volatile due to the fact that some of the Polychain funds are held directly in a few liquid crypto stocks. Several services, such as CoinMarketCap or Messari, separately highlight Polychain’s portfolio. According to them, the company invests in bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Polkadot (DOT), Avalanche (AVAX), Cosmos (ATOM), Filecoin (FIL), Maker (MKR), Tezos (XTZ), Compound (COMP) and other assets.
Polychain has deployed most of the previously raised capital in 2022 and 2023, according to a Fortune interviewee.
And before starting to raise a fourth $400 million fund, which reporters have now learned about. As for the $200 million already raised, Polychain has signed new agreements with investors or partners to begin placing those funds. At the same time, the company will continue to attract new investors in order to raise the full amount.
The attraction of new financing was accompanied by a reorganization of Polychain’s team of about 25 people, about 15 of whom are engaged in market research. According to the interlocutor of the publication, three employees from the research group were dismissed. And another with a background in data science was hired. One of the general partners also left the company to start his own project.
According to Fortune’s source, Polychain will primarily consider Ethereum-based “second-tier” infrastructure solutions for investment. And such as Arbitrum or Scroll, as well as in projects such as EigenLayer.
According to Pitchbook, global cryptocurrency VCs raised just $1.7 billion in 12 funds in the first half of 2023.
In comparison, they raised $22.5 billion in 91 funds over the course of 2022. On the same day as the new fund raising from Polychain was announced. And Bloomberg reported that another cryptocurrency venture capital firm, CoinFund, raised $158 million to support early-stage crypto startups.
According to the company’s CEO Jake Bruchman. That for the new fund managed to attract more funds than originally planned. Investor interest in the fund was higher than expected.
The last year and a half in the cryptoindustry was held in the crisis. But during this time CoinFund managed to raise $550 million, Brukhman told reporters. The year 2022 was “extremely challenging,” he said. Part of the problem was that major players in the market became interested in cryptocurrencies at the stage of their growth. But they changed their minds about investing when they saw prices fall sharply.
The new investment fund CoinFund is also the fourth for the company. Under the previous funds, the company supported startups such as, for example, Dapper Labs (creators of the FLOW blockchain). Or the blockchain infrastructure service Blockdaemon. Funds from the new fund have already been partially invested in the startup Giza. And which deals with the implementation of artificial intelligence in smart contracts. And in the company Superstate, which plans to combine decentralized finance (DeFi) with mutual funds.
CoinFund plans to invest the raised funds in startups. Which are at the intersection of cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence. Previously popular areas such as NFT are now not interesting to investors due to the market lull and capitalization decline of the largest projects.
Our experts note that CoinFund will also continue to invest directly in cryptocurrencies and tokens. And the company has an advantage here. When it comes to crypto market regulation in the US, there is uncertainty over whether cryptocurrency tokens are considered securities. And that was vividly demonstrated in the recent ruling by a judge in the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) lawsuit against Ripple Labs. However, CoinFund is a registered investment adviser. And can make investments in securities, so even equating their portfolio crypto assets with securities shouldn’t pose a problem.
According to Alex Felix, CoinFund’s chief investment officer. That now about 90% of the company’s transactions are directly related to the purchase of cryptocurrencies and tokens. According to him, the company still believes that this industry can coexist with traditional finance in a regulated manner.