Crypto Investment Platform Inks Big-name Partners, Eyes Regional Expansion

The startup, Aspen Digital, plans to raise a Series A round in the third quarter or so this year


Yang He, co-founder of Aspen Digital | Source: Aspen Digital


key takeaways

  • The latest funding follows a $9 million pre-Series A haul in September 2021
  • The platform has given its family-office clients access to notable digital-asset deal flow, including Animoca Brands

Aspen Digital, a cryptocurrency investing platform that keys in on big-money traditional investors, has inked a number of strategic partnerships as the firm looks to expand its regional footprint, hire staffers and roll out new business lines. 

Since its January launch, Hong Kong-based Aspen has brought on board more than 100 family offices, with plans to add in relatively short order at least another 100 wealthy families, most of whom are based in Asia.

The startup’s latest fundraise comes on the heels of a September 2021 $9 million pre-Series A round led by Liberty City Ventures and RIT Capital. Its latest capital-raising haul and new valuation were not disclosed.

Aspen’s latest backers include Singapore venture capital firm K3 Ventures, Rockpool Capital and Venture Smart Financial Group via BlackPine.

The company has also launched an internal research and trading team, plus automated, in-house, market-neutral arbitrage and DeFi strategies. Aspen has additionally rolled out crypto fixed-income yield products, as well as so-called smart beta products. 

The platform’s limited partners are mainly concentrated in Asia — while Aspen offers access to US portfolio managers, it has so far shied away from US allocators due to regulatory concerns — but the company plans to use the funding and resources from its latest partnerships to expand into the growing crypto markets of Australia, Dubai and London.

Yang He, Aspen’s co-founder and CEO, told Blockworks the company plans to raise a Series A round in the third quarter or so — with that capital earmarked to further grow the team and expand into new markets.

“There’s so many traditional finance people entering the space, especially in Asia,” He said. “A lot of them have been so focused on [traditional finance], and now you’re seeing a lot of people going all-in on crypto. They don’t want to miss this wave.” 

He pegged a potential future move into the US limited partner space as part of the company’s “second phase,” given regulatory uncertainties, taxation questions and other complexities. It’ll be imperative for Aspen to build out that market, given the strong appetite of US institutions for crypto managers — on both the venture capital and liquid hedge fund sides — in Asia who have expertise in Web3 and DeFi (decentralized finance) strategies, plus on-the-ground access to deal flow. 

For an upstart, Aspen has already given its family offices strong access to private investment opportunities, including Animoca Brands and Dunamu, the parent company of South Korean crypto exchange UpBit.

The firm often takes a principal equity position in venture deals to demonstrate to its skin in the game. 

Managers pay Aspen a cut of their performance and management fees to be listed on the platform, so the cost isn’t passed on to investors, as in a traditional fund-of-funds model. 

“We want to be the partner for these traditional wealth managers as they’re building into crypto,” He said. “The platform play has already been done many times, and there’s many platforms…But, again, what really matters is the expertise that comes with it.”

Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

MON - WED, MARCH 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience:  Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats  Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts   Grow your network […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Frax report cover.jpg


Frax saw continued development in its frxETH liquid staking derivative and Fraxlend money market throughout 2023. Frax V3 introduces an RWA strategy to drive utility to the protocol's cornerstone product, the FRAX stablecoin.


MicroStrategy discloses the purchase of 16,000 bitcoin throughout November


Digital asset firms face potential new regulatory landscape under Treasury’s proposed authority expansion


Uniswap Labs will be providing trading APIs to Talos investors through Fireblocks


DYDX supply will climb by up to 80% after the Friday unlock, but a couple factors make a massive sell-off appear unlikely


Switzerland-based Pando Asset, which has crypto products trading on the SIX Swiss Exchange, now looks to the US


Binance does not hold the required licenses to advertise and serve customers in the Philippines, the country’s securities regulator said