September 19, 2023 at 14:11 GMTModified date: September 19, 2023 at 14:11 GMT
September 19, 2023 at 14:11 GMT

New $60m Web3 fund launched by Alchemy Pay co-founder

Former employees from Alchemy Pay, Sino Global Capital, Libra and Coinbase are launching a new $60m crypto fund that will target Web3, AI and biotech companies.

New $60m Web3 fund launched by Alchemy Pay co-founder

A new venture capital fund under the name Oak Grove Ventures has been launched with alumni from Alchemy Pay, Harmony, and Libra. The new fund will be investing in early-stage Web3, artificial intelligence (AI) and biotechnology start-ups.

With an initial capital of $60million, the fund was founded by Shawn Shi, previously known for co-founding Alchemy Pay.

Other key members of the fund are investment partners Zac Pan, previously with Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Sally Wang, former vice president of Ryze Labs (previously known as Sino Global Capital).

“Our approach is not solely about capital. It’s about building a community of visionaries and founders passionate about innovation. This fund is centered around supporting founders,” Sally Wang said in a statement to CoinDesk.

On the technical side, the fund has hired Ethan Wang, former tech lead of Meta’s crypto project Libra, before its transition to Diem and eventual discontinuation. 

Rongjian Lan was also hired, who was previously the co-founder and CTO of Harmony. Meanwhile, Michael Li, former vice president of Coinbase, will serve as the fund’s technical advisor.

Oak Grove’s history with Crypto

Before transitioning to a venture fund, Oak Grove Ventures functioned as a family office. Its engagement with the crypto world dates back to 2019. Oak Grove has invested more than $15m in various crypto venture funds, including, but not limited to, Nomad Capital, Draper Dragon, and IOSG Ventures.

Oak Groves have supported a total of over 30 projects in the past. The disclosed investment portfolio of Oak Grove includes investments in eight funds and 14 projects, noteworthy mentions being SpaceX and Neuralink.

The bear market opportunity

Despite the current bearish state of the market, Ethan Wang pointed out launching a fund at this time presents “unique opportunity for discerning investors.” 

“A bear market often signifies that asset prices have reached a low point, sometimes even undervalued levels, presenting an optimal time to buy in,” Wang explained.

This new fund will utilise expertise from the cryptocurrency ecosystem to identify opportunities in Web3, AI, and biotechnology.

Upward trend in crypto VC funds

Despite the challenging market conditions, the launch of new crypto venture funds has recently increased. For example, Blockchain Capital recently managed to raise $580m, which will be allocated across two new funds.

Out of this, $380m is set aside for its sixth early-stage fund, concentrating on new companies and protocols, especially during their pre-seed and Series A phases. The remaining $200m will be directed towards its opportunities fund, focusing on late-stage investments from Series B onwards.

Similarly, KBank, a major Thai bank, has established a $100m fund dedicated to web3 and AI. 

Additionally, Kraken Ventures is in the process of raising $100m for a fund targeting early-stage opportunities. Brandon Gath, managing partner of Kraken Ventures, said: “We also believe that smaller funds best serve entrepreneurs and investors, as the entrepreneur gets a more hands-on partner, and data overwhelmingly shows that small funds outperform large funds.”

Electrical Capital are reportedly raising $300m for a crypto fund, according to a September filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund will be offering pooled investment fund interests in the form of securities. 

Given the continued interest and funds in the crypto investment sector, it seems the appetite for investments in digital assets remains strong, even though the market has been relatively muted over the past year.

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