VCs target Australian blockchain and cryptocurrency firms with $44m in funds

VCs target Australian blockchain and cryptocurrency firms with $44m in funds

Start-ups with designs on making it big in the fast-growing world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies will be targeted by two new funds focusing on the Australian market, with almost $44 million to spend.

Apollo Capital, founded by venture capital fund Dominent Venture Partners’ Domenic Carosa and Holger Arians and Wall Street veteran Henrik Andersson, is attempting to raise a minimum of $30 million and will specialise in crypto asset investments, which it defines as digital currencies, blockchain-based assets and initial coin offerings.

At the same time an $80 million global blockchain development fund, Foundation, is expanding to Australia, with its global director of partnerships and strategic alliances, Jason Lee, planning to deploy around $14 million locally.

Mr Carosa said as the market continued to mature, he expected to see more funds targeting cryptocurrency and blockchain investments.

“It’s still very embryonic, but for us this is part of the market maturing and bringing more credibility to the space,” he said.

“You hear that people like Bill Gates, Richard Branson and funds like Andreessen Horowitz taking long-term bullish views on bitcoin and blockchain … and this also add further credibility.”

Hype warning

Already some locally established venture capital funds are starting to look more closely at the space, with AirTree Ventures and rampersand saying they were bullish about blockchain, but cautioning that there were still a number of dodgy ventures taking advantage of the hype.

“I worked through the past two boom-and-bust tech cycles. The almost feverish excitement around blockchain and cryptocurrencies reminds me of the heady days of mobile ten years ago, or the web 20 years ago – new tech changed the world, but with the hype also came some spurious companies,” rampersand managing partner Paul Naphtali said.

“We’re big believers that major opportunities will come off blockchain in particular, but we’re not allocating a chunk of our fund just yet.”


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Source: VCs target Australian blockchain and cryptocurrency firms with $44m in funds |