Tokyo-based Infinity Ventures is targeting a global cryptocurrency fund next year, joining the likes of blockchain VC players like Andreessen Horowitz, Fenbushi Capital and Golden Gate Ventures-backed LuneX Ventures.
The move will make this one of the few cryptocurrency funds backed by a traditional VC firm. Most blockchain funds today are backed by a cryptocurrency exchange or blockchain service.
Infinity declined to reveal how big this fund will be, but said there was interest coming from its existing partners who are likely to back this fund as well. Infinity Ventures is currently backed by partners such as Daiwa Securities, KDDI and Line.
Joseph Huang, Managing Partner, Infinity Ventures said: “The crypto hype has definitely passed. Now we’re looking into companies that have some type of asset, business model or user base that presents a good use case. It comes down to the business model and how companies intend to integrate blockchain, token or ICO into their business.”
Infinity Ventures is no stranger to blockchain. The VC last invested in seed rounds of MaiCoin and Cobinhood, two cryptocurrency startups from Taiwan.
“There’s definitely a robust market in Japan, Europe, even in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. We are trying to assess what advantages we have over a Binance or a ConsenSys which are very well funded,” said Huang.
This will be Infinity’s first sector-focused fund, signalling a break from its more regional approach where it targets early-stage tech companies bridging Japan, China and Taiwan. Infinity is also eyeing opportunities in Southeast Asia, particularly in B2B logistics.
“We’re looking for companies where we can bring the technology to, or invest in the region. Logistics for us won’t just mean trucking or shipping. It also includes areas like freight forwarding, ocean shipping, and even further down the line like farms-to-restaurant,” said Huang.
Infinity Ventures has done two deals in Southeast Asia which are Interluck, a Manila-headquartered IoT supply chain firm, and Eyeota, a Singapore-based adtech startup. Huang however asserted that their SEA efforts are still in the exploratory stages.
Meantime, Infinity Ventures’ $120 million fourth fund is on track to close by end-2018.
Infinity started fundraising in June, and targets early-stage companies in Internet, e-commerce and fintech in North Asia. Infinity Ventures targets around 40 companies per fund, with ticket sizes ranging from $1 to $5 million.
Huang explained that the larger size of their fourth fund was to give room for follow-on investments in Series B and potentially Series C. This was to give their portfolio companies more capacity to focus on building their business instead of fundraising.