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Hong Kong-based crypto wallet provider and trading platform crypto.com has decided to expand the size of its investment arm, called Crypto.com Capital, to $500 million (roughly Rs. 3,722 crore) to help fund web3 startups. The expansion arrives just days after cryptocurrency firm FTX announced the launch of a $2 billion (roughly Rs. 14,888.6 crore) venture capital fund called FTX Ventures to focus on advancing blockchain and Web3 technology alongside investments in “social, gaming, fintech, software, and healthcare.” Similar expansions have also been made by rival companies like Binance and Coinbase.
Crypto.com Capital was launched in March 2021 as a $200 million (roughly Rs. 1,489.63 crore) fund to invest in early-stage startups that can help grow the crypto ecosystem to one billion users. Crypto.com Capital attempts to create a blend of a lean entrepreneurial fund team with the resources and experience of Crypto.com, which reaches over 10 million users through products including a Visa debit card, trading exchange, and a non-fungible token (NFT) platform.
As per a TechCrunch report, the fund is helmed by Crypto.com co-founder Bobby Bao and targets seed and Series A deals in categories including the metaverse, blockchain gaming, NFTs, and DeFi. To date, the investment arm has completed over 20 deals and its portfolio of companies includes Efinity, Genies, DeBank, Alethea AI, YGG SEA, and Matter Labs.
Crypto.com Capital has also added Jon Russel, a technology journalist with over 10 years of experience to its list of partners. “Crypto.com Capital is not even one year old, but already we work hand-in-hand with dozens of world-class founders and we want to find more. Adding Jon to the team is a statement of intent to double down and grow the web3 ecosystem,” said Bobby Bao, Crypto.com co-founder in a blog post.
“I’ve had offers to move into crypto full-time before but Crypto.com is the most ambitious company in web3,” said Russell. “The Crypto.com Capital fund brings a very unique advantage to help the world’s best web3 founders and startups to realise their potential and I can’t wait to play my part.”
The announcement from the Hong Kong-based crypto company also shows that crypto exchanges are increasingly involved in being a rainmaker and beneficiary of the ecosystem, including the industries in which they operate.
FTX, which has helped more than 15 startups, last week announced a $2 billion crypto fund. Its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, also owns Alameda Research, a venture company that has helped nearly 100 web3 startups.
Coinbase Ventures, the investment arm of the only publicly traded cryptocurrency exchange, and Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of trading volume, are also among the buggest investors in the web3 space.