• The fund will focus on investing in financial infrastructure, Web3 and decentralized finance (DeFi)
  • About half of firm’s investments are in the US, but it’s looking to explore opportunities in Canada, Asia-Pacific, Europe, the UK, Israel and United Arab Emirates

Kraken Ventures is launching its first fund, after raising $65 million to invest across crypto and fintech, the firm announced on Friday. 

“Our original goal for the fund was $50M, but given the significant demand we had for the fund, we expanded the fund size up to $65M,” Brandon Gath, managing partner at Kraken Ventures, told Blockworks. 

Kraken Ventures is its own entity, but it is anchored and led by Kraken, the world’s largest digital asset exchange by euro volume and liquidity. 

Though the majority of the business’s existing investments focus on seed rounds and Series A investments, the Kraken Ventures Fund I LP will focus on investing in technologies supporting the future of crypto and fintech innovation. This includes tech within the financial infrastructure, Web3 and decentralized finance (DeFi) sectors.

The crypto exchange launched its venture capital fund in February 2021 and has made a number of investments since in Blockdaemon, Anchorage, Messari, Hashflow, Acala and pStake, according to the company.

The amount or timeline for the investments were not disclosed, but the fund intends to make initial investments ranging from $500,000 to $2 million. 

“We will continue to invest in infrastructure that will power both the crypto and fintech ecosystems,” Gath said. “Our goal is to get to know teams even before they’re launching their company or protocol to be able to support them from a very early point in their development through an investment and operational support,” he added.

Kraken Ventures currently has about half of its investments in the US and the other half allocated internationally. But the firm is looking to explore opportunities in Canada, Asia-Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom, Israel and United Arab Emirates, according to its website

In addition to launching the fund, the firm announced that Laurens De Poorter will be Kraken Venture’s head of Europe as a part of its global expansion. De Poorter will focus on executing investments and working with portfolios across the region. 

“The European crypto scene is booming; deal count doubled in the last two years and continues to accelerate,” De Poorter said in a statement. “With the influx of institutional money and impending regulation wave, one of the most promising areas will be the intersection of crypto and fintech.”

Gath said going forward there is potential to make the crypto ecosystem more accessible to the masses, not just those who understand the technology, by making it more secure, scalable, transparent and easy to use.

“We think this will just continue to widen the gap between innovation on the crypto side versus more traditional financial services,” Gath said. “The innovation and exciting products that cut out middle agents and give economics back to the user are what’s driving excitement in the space and why a young demographic has so embraced this industry. Now it’s time for the industry to make sure everyone has the tools to participate,” he said.

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  • Jacquelyn Melinek is a New York-based reporter covering funding, decentralized finance (DeFi) and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). She previously reported on energy markets for S&P Global Platts and Bloomberg News and is published in over 65 news outlets. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Media and Journalism. Contact Jacquelyn via email at [email protected]