Crypto.com Expands Investment Arm to $500 Million to Back More Web3 Startups and Founders

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Hong Kong-based crypto wallet provider and trading platform crypto.com has decided to expand the size of its investment arm, called Crypto.com Capital, to $500 million (roughly Rs. 3,722 crore) to help fund web3 startups. The expansion arrives just days after cryptocurrency firm FTX announced the launch of a $2 billion (roughly Rs. 14,888.6 crore) venture capital fund called FTX Ventures to focus on advancing blockchain and Web3 technology alongside investments in “social, gaming, fintech, software, and healthcare.” Similar expansions have also been made by rival companies like Binance and Coinbase.

Crypto.com Capital was launched in March 2021 as a $200 million (roughly Rs. 1,489.63 crore) fund to invest in early-stage startups that can help grow the crypto ecosystem to one billion users. Crypto.com Capital attempts to create a blend of a lean entrepreneurial fund team with the resources and experience of Crypto.com, which reaches over 10 million users through products including a Visa debit card, trading exchange, and a non-fungible token (NFT) platform.

As per a TechCrunch report, the fund is helmed by Crypto.com co-founder Bobby Bao and targets seed and Series A deals in categories including the metaverse, blockchain gaming, NFTs, and DeFi. To date, the investment arm has completed over 20 deals and its portfolio of companies includes Efinity, Genies, DeBank, Alethea AI, YGG SEA, and Matter Labs.

Crypto.com Capital has also added Jon Russel, a technology journalist with over 10 years of experience to its list of partners. “Crypto.com Capital is not even one year old, but already we work hand-in-hand with dozens of world-class founders and we want to find more. Adding Jon to the team is a statement of intent to double down and grow the web3 ecosystem,” said Bobby Bao, Crypto.com co-founder in a blog post.

“I’ve had offers to move into crypto full-time before but Crypto.com is the most ambitious company in web3,” said Russell. “The Crypto.com Capital fund brings a very unique advantage to help the world’s best web3 founders and startups to realise their potential and I can’t wait to play my part.”

The announcement from the Hong Kong-based crypto company also shows that crypto exchanges are increasingly involved in being a rainmaker and beneficiary of the ecosystem, including the industries in which they operate.

FTX, which has helped more than 15 startups, last week announced a $2 billion crypto fund. Its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, also owns Alameda Research, a venture company that has helped nearly 100 web3 startups.

Coinbase Ventures, the investment arm of the only publicly traded cryptocurrency exchange, and Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of trading volume, are also among the buggest investors in the web3 space.


Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

Bitcoin Price Down by a Fifth as Crypto Market Crash Sees $1 Billion Worth Liquidated

Bitcoin shed a fifth of its value on Saturday as a combination of profit-taking and macro-economic concerns triggered nearly a billion dollars worth of selling across cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin was 12 percent down at 9:20 GMT at $47,495 (roughly Rs. 35.76 lakhs). It fell as low as $41,967.5 (roughly Rs. 31.60 lakhs) during the session, taking total losses for the day to 22 percent.

The broad selloff in cryptocurrencies also saw ether, the coin linked to the Ethereum blockchain network, plunge more than 10 percent.

Based on cryptocurrency data platform Coingecko, the market capitalisation of the 11,392 coins it tracks dropped nearly 15 percent to $2.34 trillion. That value had briefly crossed $3 trillion last month, when bitcoin hit a record $69,000 (roughly Rs. 51.96 lakhs).

The plunge follows a volatile week for financial markets. Global equities and benchmark US bond yields tumbled on Friday after data showed US job growth slowed in November and the Omicron variant of the coronavirus kept investors on edge.

Justin d’Anethan, Hong Kong-based head of exchange sales at cryptocurrency exchange EQONEX, said he had been watching the increase in leverage ratios across the cryptocurrency markets as well how large holders had been moving their coins from wallets to exchanges. The latter is usually a sign of intent to sell.

“Whales in the crypto space seem to have transferred coins to trading venue, taken advantage of a bullish bias and leverage from retail traders, to then push prices down,” he said.

The selloff also comes ahead of testimony by executives from eight major cryptocurrency firms, including Coinbase Global CFO Alesia Haas and FTX Trading CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, before the US House Financial Services Committee on December 8.

The hearing marks the first time major players in the crypto markets will testify before US lawmakers, as policymakers grapple with the implications of cryptocurrencies and how to best regulate them.

Last week, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rejected a second spot-bitcoin exchange-traded fund proposal from WisdomTree.

Data from another platform Coinglass showed nearly $1 billion worth of cryptocurrencies had been liquidated over the past 24 hours, with the bulk being on digital exchange Bitfinex.

“If anything, this is the opportunity to buy the dip for many investors who might have previously felt like they missed the boat. We can see tether bought at a premium, suggesting people are getting cash ready, within the crypto space, to do just that,” D’Anethan said, referring to the biggest stablecoin in the cryptocurrency world.

A plunge in bitcoin funding rates — the cost of holding bitcoin via perpetual futures which peaked at 0.06 percent in October — also showed traders had turned bearish.

The funding rate on cryptocurrency trading platform BitMEX fell to a negative 0.18% from levels of 0.01 percent for most of November.


Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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