Golden Gate Ventures, a Singapore-based venture capital firm, announced on Friday that it is launching a $10 million fund to invest in crypto and blockchain startups, according to local media agency The Business Times. The company claims it is the first traditional VC in Southeast Asia to do so. The new fund is called LuneX Ventures and will target early-stage investments in companies across the world, including cryptocurrency exchanges and security firms.
The fund is launched in partnership with Kenrick Drijkoningen, the former head of growth at Golden Gate. He will become the fund’s founding partner.
Drijkoningen commented on the companies that might attract LuneX’s interest:
“Qualities favored include scalable infrastructure and interoperability, along with practical solutions to issues such as custody and security, and institutional services that will drive the next wave of adoption.”
The fund will also invest in crypto assets and high-growth blockchain firms across the world that are developing solutions to support the new crypto space. LuneX will watch for startups and entrepreneurs who can transform the industry.
The fund is expected to be closed by the end of this year and will come in parallel with Golden Gate’s Fund 3, a $100 million fund focused on technology startups in Southeast Asia.
Golden Gate, which focuses on series A firms, has conducted over 40 investments, including in companies like Carousell, Omise, and MoneySmart. Some companies from its portfolio have managed to raise a total of $35 million via initial coin offerings (ICOs), so Golden Gate is already familiar with the crypto industry.
The VC firm has high expectations about the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Drijkoningen noted:
“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.”
More and more traditional VC firms are demonstrating increasing interest in crypto and blockchain firms. Last month, Snapchat investor Lightspeed Venture Partners secured $1.8 billion to invest in a variety of companies, including crypto-oriented ones.