A group of former executives binanceone of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, has set up a $100 million venture fund, the team told TechCrunch on Thursday.
Old fashion research (OFR) – whose name derives from the classic cocktail – was founded in late 2021 by managing partners Ling Zhang, who was previously Vice President of M&A and investments at Binance, and Wayne Fu, former head of corporate development at the crypto exchange.
The fund focuses on the metaverse and bring greater crypto adoption to emerging markets like Latin America and Africa, Zhang told TechCrunch.
“We are very interested in working with builders on a long-term basis,” Zhang said. “We are very much geared towards the southern hemisphere. … We will take care of all emerging markets, but it is our goal and vision to accelerate adoption there.”
The capital was raised from limited partners, traditional VC funds, family offices and angel investors both inside and outside the crypto ecosystem, with global gaming platform WEMIX leading the investment, Zhang noted.
The project has operated in stealth mode to date, but has invested in over 50 blockchain projects to date, including blockchain analytics platform Nansen, trading platform WOO Network, move-to-earn NFT game Genopets, and Africa’s largest gaming Community, Metaverse Magna.
“We firmly believe in the metaverse, not only in user activity but also in the asset perspective,” Zhang said. “We believe that web3 will be the very first step towards revolution [our] own identities and wealth management.”
Former Binance CFO Wei Zhou will serve as OFR’s strategic advisor and investor, and its venture arm will be supported by partner Jiang Xin, who led Binance Labs and Launchpad’s major investment deals such as Axe InfinityMoonbeam, Alpha Finance and others.
“Market conditions have cooled somewhat since the beginning of the year and we think this is more of an opportunity than a challenge for OFR,” Xin said. “Since [the fund] restarted, we can find cheaper and more reasonable valuations during the market downturn and there will be many bubbles.”
Zhang said she has noticed a growing interest in funds coming into the crypto space or new funds being launched to invest in crypto after realizing the potential of blockchain technology and the crypto ecosystem .
“More and more VCs are looking for ways to invest in crypto projects,” Zhang said. “Crypto itself is a revolution and disruption of the capital plate. It’s no longer centralized in a top-down approach.”
Earlier this week, Andreessen Horowitz announced his fourth $4.5 billion crypto-focused fund. The fund, which is more than double the size of its third fund at $2.2 billion, will allocate a third of its mega fund exclusively to seed deals.
A number of mega-funds have been launched in the crypto space in recent weeks, showing that venture capitalists are taking advantage of the sentiment and continue to invest in the space despite the potential for markets to be bearish.
Asked if the market’s bearish sentiment will discourage traditional companies from continuing their crypto investments, Arianna Simpson, general partner of 16z, told TechCrunch that “it’s likely that other companies will pull out,” but that ” the size of our new fund for the level of speaks to the excitement and confidence we have in this category.”
Zhang echoed this, noting that market downturns provide investors looking to invest capital in the space with clarity on what bets to make.
“This is the best time for us to identify the long-term believers in the crypto space, and it is the best time to make investments and incubate more projects,” Zhang said.
Former Binance executives launch $100M crypto fund – TechCrunch Source link Former Binance executives launch $100M crypto fund – TechCrunch