Golden Gate Ventures launches US$10m blockchain fund

LuneX Ventures, targeted to be closed within the year, will invest in cryptocurrency and blockchain startups globally

Singapore

GOLDEN Gate Ventures (GGV), a Singapore-based venture capital firm that has invested in startups including Carousell, 99.co and MoneySmart, is launching a dedicated fund for blockchain investments.

Named LuneX Ventures, it is a new US$10 million fund that will invest in cryptocurrency and blockchain startups globally. The fund is targeted to be closed "within the year", and will be a separate fund from GGV's Fund 3, a US$100 million fund for South-east Asian tech startups that is targeted to be closed by the end of 2018.

LuneX Ventures is a partnership between GGV and Kenrick Drijkoningen, former head of growth at GGV and founding partner of LuneX.

Mr Drijkoningen said: "We view blockchain as a foundational technology, on a par with or possibly exceeding the Internet in disruptive potential. Right now, valuations have come down to more reasonable levels and the industry is moving from pioneers to early adopters, which is a great time to start investing."

Initial coin offerings (ICOs) have raised US$9 billion globally in the first half of 2018, triple the US$6 billion raised in all of 2017, according to GGV. The firm is already a player in this emerging wave - its portfolio companies have thus far raised more than US$35 million through ICOs, with others soon to follow, said GGV.

"Singapore is a prime location for a dedicated fund as the city-state has a burgeoning base of tech talent for cryptocurrency and blockchain projects, and a supportive government."

Asked why a dedicated fund is important for this space, Mr Drijkoningen pointed to the need for highly-specialised knowledge in an emerging industry.

"Holding cryptocurrencies or digital assets is quite hard as a fund due to the lack of proper custody solutions and issues with traditional banking," he told BT.

"With LuneX, we're looking to go deep into the blockchain industry and provide our portfolio companies with industry expertise and connections," said Mr Drijkoningen