Singapore’s Golden Gate Ventures announces a $10M fund for crypto deals


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VCs around the globe try to wrap their head round crypto, and the brand new funding paradigm it brings. Some have made one-off offers however a number of have jumped in off the deep finish with devoted crypto funds, with A16z in the U.S. the most prominent example. Now Singapore has its first from the normal world after outstanding agency Golden Gate Ventures introduced a by-product fund referred to as LuneX Ventures.

The fund is concentrated on crypto and it's concentrating on a $10 million increase. Its announcement comes weeks after we reported the first close for Golden Gate’s new $100 million fund, its third so far, which is backed by Naver, Mistletoe and others.

Golden Gate already has some publicity to ICOs, having backed the company behind OMG, and loads of rumors have completed the rounds about its plans for a standalone fund contemplating the surge in ICOs, which have scooped up over $10 billion in investment this year so far.

Notably, LuneX would be the first crypto fund from a standard investor in Southeast Asia, though Wavemaker Companions — which is backed by early Bitcoin proponent Tim Draper — does have a U.S.-based fund.

LuneX shall be run by founding companion Kenrick Drijkoningen, who was beforehand head of progress for Golden Gate, with affiliate Tushar Aggarwal, who hosts the Decrypt Asia podcast. The 2 are assembling a small help staff which may even be assisted by Golden Gate’s again workplace workforce.

Drijkoningen advised TechCrunch in an interview that he believes the time is true for the fund, despite the fact that the worth of Bitcoin, Ether and different main tokens is approach under the peaks seen in January.

“Although public markets are down, the quantity of expertise that’s shifting into this area is thrilling. There are younger entrepreneurs who're captivated with this area and need to construct an ecosystem,” he stated, including that stability on worth is an effective factor.

“There’s a number of crypto funds however most of them are hedge funds,” Drijkoningen added. He defined that LuneX intends to take a longer-term strategy to investments by serving to its portfolio and usually doing greater than shorting and fast trades.

Kenrick Drijkoningen, Founding Associate, LuneX Ventures

Drijkoningen defined the capital might be divided equally for token gross sales, buying present tokens and equity-based investments in crypto tasks. Meaning moving into personal gross sales and pre-sales for ICOs, and seeing what tokens already available on the market have long-term return potential. On the fairness funding aspect, Drijkoningen is on the lookout for what he calls “infrastructure” companies, such as options for token custody, banking and extra. The fund’s capital is being raised in fiat, however it's contemplating permitting Bitcoin, Ether and different tokens.

Though Singapore is seen by many as a ‘crypto haven’ the authorized standing of crypto and tokens is unclear because the Financial Authority of Singapore (MAS) has deferred on making these selections. That’s in contrast to places like Malta, Gibraltar and Bermuda, that are actively wooing crypto corporations with incentives and legalization frameworks, however Singapore’s standing as a worldwide monetary hub and a vacation spot for Southeast Asia’s investor capital has helped make it a vacation spot for crypto corporations all the identical.

MAS is understood for partaking with crypto stakeholders, and Drijkoningen stated there had been discussions though he didn't elaborate additional aside from to say that the regulator is “fairly properly knowledgeable.” He clarified that the brand new fund is structured in order that it's legally compliant whereas it's banking with a “crypto-friendly” financial institution within the U.S. since Singaporean banks to do present providers to crypto corporations.

Drijkoningen stated the fund’s LP base is comprised of excessive internet value people who perceive crypto or are crypto-curious, in addition to hedge fund managers and household workplaces. He stated there’s been curiosity from tasks that raised vital capital from ICOs and need to spend money on the ecosystem and develop networks, in addition to some long-time Golden Gate LPs.

There’s little question LuneX is an early mover in Southeast Asia — nicely, the world — however Drijkoningen believes it gained’t be lengthy earlier than others within the conventional VC area comply with go well with. He revealed that already a lot of different funds are “wanting into” the alternatives, and expects that some will make a transfer “this yr or subsequent.”

As for LuneX, the plan could be very a lot to scale this preliminary fund in the identical method that Golden Gate has gone from a small seed fund to a $100 million car in lower than eight years.

“We need to rise up and operating, get a great return and lift a bigger fund,” Drijkoningen stated. He added that the fund is at present wanting over half a dozen or so offers that it hopes to wrap up quickly as its first investments.

Word: The writer owns a small quantity of cryptocurrency. Sufficient to realize an understanding, not sufficient to vary a life.