10T’s Tapiero Launching Crypto PE Firm Backed by Alan Howard

The former CEO of Sotheby’s has been tapped as an advisory partner for Tapiero’s launch

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Artwork by Axel Rangel, modified by Blockworks

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Dan Tapiero of 10T Holdings is launching a crypto private equity fund amid deeply discounted valuations, targeting a $1 billion capital raise backed by hedge fund billionaire Alan Howard and a host of other prominent investors.  

Tapiero is leading up the launch of the growth-focused private equity startup, dubbed “a natural evolution of the investment strategy created at 10T Holdings,” according to the firm’s marketing materials, which were obtained by Blockworks. 

The 10T founder is serving as 1RoundTable Partners’ chief executive, chief investment officer and managing partner. He’s targeting a whopping $1 billion capital raise by the end of the third quarter, when 1RoundTable’s flagship vehicle, 1RT Opportunities Fund, plans to conduct a capital close.

Tapiero is set to continue in his current role as 10T’s head. The firm, which has evolved into one of the industry’s largest and most influential players, now has $1.2 billion in assets under management, inclusive of committed and investor capital.

10T’s investment activities are set to continue unaffected, with a number of its managing partners’ staffers moving over to the new venture. Those professionals — like Tapiero — will continue in their current 10T roles.

“Without single token exposure…”

Tapiero confirmed his firm’s launch in an exclusive interview with Blockworks.

Tapiero — whose long Wall Street resume includes Tiger Management — told Blockworks that 1RoundTable is “in a position to help this space” out of the “stigma” that still surrounds the cryptocurrency industry. That stigma has been fueled, Tapiero said, by out of touch US regulators and institutional investors who haven’t done their digital assets homework.

“The crux of our strategy is to give people exposure to the digital asset ecosystem without all of the crazy volatility — without all the single-token exposure,” he said. 

He and his 10T team passed on more than 100 deals last year, Tapiero said, “many of them because of extreme, dramatic overvaluations.” Tapiero has the final signoff on 10T’s investment activities, and it’s now his view that valuations are more attractive.

The impetus behind 1RoundTable? The opportunity, Tapiero said, to double down on 10T’s winning venture bets with acceleration capital — marketed in a way that appeals to both crypto natives and traditional finance investors alike, 

“My hopes have always been — and this is 10T and [1RoundTable] — that we act as a bridge from the old world to the new world.” 

The fund’s focus, per the marketing materials, is to back the equity of mid to late stage digital asset companies with the “potential for outsized price appreciation over the next 5 – 10 years.” Two sources familiar with the matter confirmed aspects of 1RoundTable’s formation. 

Its strategy is designed to tap the deep connections of the launch’s team. 1RoundTable’s marketing materials reference the firm’s “deep…knowledge and connectivity” in digital assets. More specifically, the private equity fund wants to capitalize on the “optimal entry point now” to acquire “discounted” digital asset equity, the same materials said.

There has been a long time lack of big money interest and a shortage of capital put to work in terms of bringing crypto companies public, according to Tapiero, who cited Coinbase and Galaxy Digital Holdings as rare examples of the industry’s entities going public with a sizable market capitalization behind them. 

Tapiero and his day-one team are ramping up marketing efforts, which are set to more formally commence next week. He declined to comment on specifics of 1RoundTable’s fundraising and related terms, citing private placement regulations.

A big-name team

He has some of the biggest names in digital assets and on Wall Street backing 1RoundTable, including hedge fund billionaire Alan Howard who is taking an unspecified general partner stake. Howard, one source said, also has previously snapped up a general partner position in 10T.

Both stakes are relatively small, a source said, in relation to Howard’s portfolio. Tapiero has brought on board 10T partners Michael Dubilier and Eric Vincent for the 1RoundTable day-one team. Joining as 1Rountable’s chief financial officer — per the materials, and in May — is Joe Majocha, who formerly held the same title for a Two Sigma private equity affiliate that ran $4 billion at the time.

Former Sotheby’s CEO Tad Smith has been tapped as an advisory partner, too, perhaps one indicator of institutional NFT interest surviving digital collectible’s fourth quarter tumult. 

1RoundTable’s flagship fund — which imposes fees that are steep by crypto’s current standards — has a five-year investment period. It carries a 10 year fund term, with two one-year extensions available. 1RT Opportunities Fund imposes fees of 2% and 20%. 

Its service providers are now in place, per the marketing materials: Standish Management has been tapped as the fund’s administrator; JP Morgan as its banking partner; KPMG as its auditor; Optima Partners for compliance. Two law firms are in place, as well. 

Tapiero’s startup plans to have 10 to 15 employees on board, inclusive of both investment and non-investment professionals. He’s taking the long view when it comes to the role of private equity in digital assets. The sentiment has yet to gain much traction in terms of institutional capital.   

“In the US, it’s really just Coinbase,” Tapeiro said. “I really think it’s impossible to think that in the next five years there’s only going to be one [sizable public crypto company]. There might be 40 or 50.”


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