Crypto Venture Fund Raises $110 Million From Universities

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Electric Capital, a San Francisco-based venture fund, said it will use $110 million raised from university endowments and other nonprofits to invest in cryptocurrencies and related businesses.

Electric is known for its earlier investments in crypto projects such as Bitwise, Anchorage and Celo. The firm says it uses software to determine which projects are seeing interest from programmers to help guide its investments and to help companies it invests in grow.

The fund closed in May, and about a third of the assets have been invested already in Bitcoin, Ether and several projects including the DerivaDEX exchange. The fund, which didn’t disclose the name of investors, will have a long-term time horizon of 10 years, according to co-founder Avichal Garg.

“Bitcoin and Ethereum are a minority of the fund,” Garg said. “Our thoughts are more toward Defi protocols, apps built on top of this stuff.” DeFi, or distributed finance, lets people lend and borrow money without using middlemen.

The company’s original $35 million fund was invested in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum as well as blockchain projects.

Garg previously worked at Google and Facebook Inc., where he was director of product management for the Local product group. Co-founder Curtis Spencer, who was a Stanford University classmate of Garg, was the chief technology officer at a mobile infrastructure company bought by Facebook, where he ended up working as an engineering lead on News Feeds, Events and Developer Experience.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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