Asian Bitcoin & Blockchain News

New US$50M Blockchain VC Fund Proof of Capital Launches

Proof of Capital website homepage

A new venture capital fund called Proof of Capital was launched on Wednesday with US$50 million in funding. The fund will invest in blockchain startups with a focus on fintech, infrastructure, hardware and consumer products.

The fund was raised last month with backing from the likes of HTC Exodus, a Taiwanese smartphone and consumer electronics manufacturer, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, and Taiwanese company Formosa Plastics.

Edith Yeung, one of the fund’s founders and a partner at 500 Startups, an early stage venture fund based in Silicon Valley, told TechCrunch:

“Some of these backers are curious at the possibilities of blockchain. For example, they’re giving us some ideas on how tokenization and gamification could be applied on different platforms.”

Proof of Capital has already made its first investment in Ubanx, a Latin America-based blockchain startup that provides an API banking infrastructure for fiat-crypto exchange in Argentina, Brazil and other countries in the region.

Yeung told Reuters that the fund aims to “to meet and build long-term partnerships with founders who want to define this new Internet.”

Alongside Yeung, Proof of Capital, which has offices in San Francisco, Hong Kong and Taipei, counts Phil Chen, the “decentralized chief officer” of HTC and original creator of the HTC Vive virtual reality headset and the HTC Exodus blockchain phone product lines, as well as Chris McCann, who previously founded and led the community program at Greylock Partners, as its founders.

Proof of Capital founding partners Edith Yeung, Chris McCann and Phil Chen

The fund has also inked a partnership with HTC Exodus, which will open the possibility for its portfolio companies to work directly with the manufacturer to develop services and products for the Exodus phones and potentially other HTC blockchain ventures.  

“For HTC, it’s obvious, they already have a product to go with it,” Yeung told TechCrunch adding that HTC was interested in investing in blockchain services and startups to build an ecosystem.

According to the company’s website, Proof of Capital will put an emphasis on “real adoption and global distribution” with a particular focus on Asian and emerging markets. The company said it is looking for “founders who share our ethos and global perspective” which it will support through customer and business development, marketing, branding, and distribution, alongside capital.

Advisors to Proof of Capital include Greg Kidd, the former chief risk of Ripple; Howard Wu, the co-founder of Dekrypt Capital and a cryptography researcher at the University of California, Berkeley; Dominic Williams, the founder of Dfinity; Dawn Song, a Berkeley professor and the founder of Oasis; and Kas Vardhanabhuti, a former trader at the George Soros Fund.

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BitMEX Ventures Invests in Capital Markets Software Builder FinFabrik

FinFabrik, via Facebook

FinFabrik, a Hong Kong-based fintech startup developing capital markets software, has raised an undisclosed amount in a seed funding round led by BitMEX Ventures, the investment arm of Seychelles-based HDR Global Trading Ltd., the operator of the BitMEX cryptocurrency exchange and derivative trading platform. The startup said it will use the new capital injection to expand its FinFabrik platform capabilities and develop new products based on digital assets.

“Our team is focused on creating solutions that enable asset owners to deploy their assets and liabilities,” said Alex Medana, co-founder and CEO of FinFabrik.

“The successful closing of our seed round with support from leading institutional investors is a major milestone for FinFabrik. With this vote of confidence and continued support from our key partner BitMEX Ventures, we are now markedly closer to realizing our vision of making investment opportunities broadly available for everyone.”

Founded in 2016, FinFabrik creates software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications to facilitate trading multiple assets such as equities and cryptoassets. Its suite of solutions includes BrokerFabrik, a platform that enables brokerages to run their entire equity trading business on one innovative platform, lower technology costs and drive client engagement, and CryptoFabrik, a cryptoassets trading platform for institutions and professionals.

As a B2B SaaS provider, FinFabrik has two categories of clients: institutions such as banks, brokerages, and wealth management firms looking to upgrade their technology, and companies dealing with newer asset classes such as cryptocurrency.

The founders of FinFabrik have been named among the top fintech influencers in the Asia-Pacific region and the company’s mission is to transform financial services leveraging blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) and make investment available to anyone.

“We firmly believe we can achieve that with better technology and user experiences,” says Dr. Florian Matthaeus Spiegl, co-founder and COO of FinFabrik.

Especially in Southeast Asia, penetration of wealth management and trading services is still fairly low, as traditional institutions running outdated technology cannot afford to serve people without much capital to invest, he explains.

BitMEX is a bitcoin derivatives platform designed to cater to professional investors. The platform hit the industry record of more than 1 million bitcoin traded within 24 hours in August 2018.  

BitMEX Ventures, which was founded last year, is the corporate venture arm of the company. It builds and oversees an investment portfolio of crypto and fintech companies developing innovative financial products complementary to BitMEX’s core businesses. Besides FinFabrik, another of BitMEX Ventures’ portfolio companies is Blockfolio, which announced a US$11.5 million Series A financing round in October that counted BitMEX Ventures as an investor.

“BitMEX Ventures is dedicated to supporting the growth of financial infrastructures surrounding emerging asset classes, such as cryptocurrencies, and supporting the world’s most innovative blockchain startups,” said Arthur Hayes, co-founder and CEO of BitMEX.

“We believe in FinFabrik’s highly-capable team and its mission of creating institutional-grade investment opportunities that allow everyone to participate in building their own wealth. We strongly believe in financial inclusion opportunities and the technology created by FinFabrik will have a lasting impact on the next generation of professional trading tools for digital assets.”