Top 10 VC Funds for Crypto

KEY TAKEAWAYS

VC funds fuel crypto innovation, providing essential support for start-ups in the DeFi space. Top players like Coinbase Ventures and Binance Labs prioritize revenue, experience, and scalability, shaping the industry's future amid evolving market dynamics. What are the top 10 VC crypto funds?

Venture Capital (VC) funds are an essential player in the success of cryptocurrency start-ups, acting as crucial catalysts in an industry still perceived as volatile.

They are pools of investors that aim to raise capital and provide financial support to early-stage businesses with high growth potential.

According to Karl Blomsterwall, the CEO of Planet IX, VC funds “are the grease” for any early-stage industry in crypto, which many still regard as risky.

Phillip Lord, the president of Oobit, added that in addition to funding, VC firms also provide crypto start-ups with mentorship, guidance, and access to their networks — which can be invaluable for young, up-and-coming crypto companies.

“VC funds also help to legitimize the crypto industry by investing in it and supporting its growth. This helps to attract new shareholders and users to the space, which further accelerates its adoption.”

The endorsement by reputable VC funds serves as a form of market validation, signaling to investors that a project has undergone rigorous evaluation and is on a pathway to success.

Ben Weiss, the CEO and co-founder of CoinFlip, told Techopedia:

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“The VC funds that have typically succeeded are the funds that are investing in companies that are solving the real problems and pain points of consumers and businesses.

 

With rising interest rates and a ‘risk off’ environment, it’s more important than ever that these companies have a solid business model with a clear path to profitability.”

So, what are the top 10 VC funds crypto companies could look into today?

Top 10 VC Funds for Crypto

10. Defiance Capital

We begin with Defiance Capital, a Web3 VC that has backed projects in the industry specializing in DeFi, gaming, and the infrastructure space.

The company adopts an active approach and has partnered with teams to “bootstrap necessary network effects for them to scale.”

Some of its most notable investments include Axie Infinity, Lido, and Offchain Labs (Arbitrum).

9. Paradigm

Paradigm invests in blockchain projects that hold as little as $1 million to $100 million, taking a “hands-on approach” that will help crypto projects reach their full potential from technical aspects to operational.

The company was established in 2018 and has since invested in several crypto projects, including Uniswap and Polkadot.

8. Digital Currency Group

Digital Currency Group has invested in crypto projects since 2012 and has conducted over 200 equity investments and over 50 fund investments.

The VC fund has backed both early-stage players as well as more established firms in the likes of Coinbase and Ripple.

7. Dragonfly Capital Partners

Dragonfly Capital Partners was founded in 2018 and aims to bring access and influence that will help up-and-coming crypto projects with global aspirations and find innovation and adoption everywhere.

The VC fund has supported several decentralized finance (DeFi) and Web3 projects spanning from protocols to exchanges and apps.

6. Blockchain Capital

Founded in 2013, Blockchain Capital is a pioneering VC firm investing in early-stage blockchain and cryptocurrency projects. It is known for its strategic guidance and financial support that has helped several well-known crypto firms, including OpenSea, Ripple, and Kraken.

Today, the company has over $2 billion in assets under its management.

5. Andreessen Horowitz (a16z)

Fifth on our top 10 crypto VC funds list comes Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), a VC firm founded in 2009. In recent years, the firm also entered the crypto and blockchain space, establishing a fund to invest in “bold entrepreneurs building the next interest.”

Some of the firm’s most recent investments include Pimlico and Blackbird.

4. Alchemy Ventures

Alchemy Ventures invests in Web3 companies that are building products that aim to revolutionize the ecosystem. The company was founded in 2016 and has invested in several projects, including Roll, MatterLabs, and Genies.

3. Pantera Capital

One of the earliest players in the crypto VC industry, Pantera Capital, was launched in 2013 when BTC was worth $65.

According to the VC, the company aims to provide investors with the full spectrum of exposure in the crypto space. It has managed over $3.3 billion in assets in the past ten years and conducted over 100 venture investments.

The company specializes in providing exposure to crypto companies that are both in early and end-stage development.

2. Binance Labs

Second on our top 10 VC funds for crypto is Binance Labs, the investment division of the crypto exchange Binance, another leading player in the crypto exchange industry.

Binance Labs aims to invest and empower “viable blockchain entrepreneurs, start-ups, and communities, providing financing to industry projects that help grow the wider blockchain ecosystem”.

In the last three years, the VC has helped finance over 200 projects in over 25 countries. In addition to investing financially in blockchain and Web3 projects, Binance Labs offers several programs and initiatives that help Web3 entrepreneurs and projects flourish.

1. Coinbase Ventures

First on our top VC funds for crypto businesses is Coinbase Ventures, the investment arm of one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchange platforms, Coinbase.

According to Coinbase Ventures, the company “invests in exceptional founders who share Coinbase’s mission of creating more economic freedom for the world”.

The VC was founded in 2018 with the aim of backing entrepreneurs in the crypto and Web3 industries that are building anything from layer 1 protocols, Web3 infrastructures, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and metaverse technologies.

Coinbase Ventures has backed several projects, including Uniswap, Magic Eden, and OpenSea.

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong.

What Makes a Good Fund?

Crypro VC funds focus on investing in companies with a clear revenue strategy to help them increase their growth capital.

“VC funds are increasingly looking to invest in companies that are already generating revenue, as this demonstrates that they have a viable product or service that is meeting the needs of the market,” Oobit’s Lord told Techopedia.

He added that VC funds are also looking to invest in teams with the experience and expertise to execute their vision, as well as companies with the potential to scale and reach a large number of users.

Pelli Wang, the co-founder of Bracket Labs, noted:

“To be successful in the current market, all VCs have to work hard to find the best-performing teams and projects. They also have to properly structure and value each funding round for the future – including the total amount invested, valuation, token warrants, other investor rights, etc.”

Kila, the co-founder and CTO of ZERO, said that most VCs are investing in crypto projects aiming to build the “future of finance.” As someone with experience in building in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space, Kila added that the DAO structure could be a challenging one, being highly “overrated [and] bloated.”

“One of the luxuries of getting funds from a select few people in suits streamlines decision-making, and brings new capital and injects it into the ecosystem. Otherwise, often, we are left circling around with the same funds.”

The Future of Crypto VC Funds

“There was a decade-long boom in VC investing that began around the financial crisis until the end of 2021. This led to record high, often unjustified, valuations in technology and crypto companies,” CoinFlip’s Weiss noted.

Rising interest rates are straining the world’s current economic state; however, as the market aims to correct itself, several investors have returned to prioritizing cashflow over “speculative enterprises,” Weiss added.

ZERO’s Kila added that as regulatory compliance becomes more apparent, the crypto VC funds industry will see more money pour in, backed by clear guidelines of “dos and don’ts” – a crucial aspect of mitigating risks and building investor trust.

Bracket Labs’ Wang added that crypto funding goes into cycles as limited partners (LPs) aim to find the highest risk-adjusted returns for their capital.

“There was a lot of money pouring into crypto VC in 2021 and 2022 when the bull market was hot.

“Then 2023 came with a bear market, and much of that LP capital has slowed down or pulled back. Heading into 2024, it seems like the overall market sentiment is improving again, so it could be the start of the next bull market with new money entering again.”

Conclusion

With the crypto market seemingly emerging from its long term bear market people will begin actively building more projects, and VC funds will be more active in looking for projects that look promising and fill a niche for the future.

For those looking to research and follow venture capital firms, we recommend Coinbase. They have discovered and invested in what are by far some of the most successful platforms and businesses in the space, including Uniswap, Yuga Labs, Arbitrum, and more!

Don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose all the money you invest. This is a high-risk investment and you should not expect to be protected if something goes wrong.

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Iliana Mavrou
Crypto journalist

Iliana is an experienced crypto/tech journalist reporting on blockchain, regulation, DeFi, and Web3 industries. Before joining Techopedia, she contributed to a number of online publications, including Capital.com, Cryptonews, and Business2Community, among others. In addition to working in journalism, she also has experience in tech and crypto PR.  Iliana graduated from the City University of London with a degree in Journalism in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Communication.