HTC Executive Launches $50 Million VC Fund for Blockchain Startups

The fund also partnered with HTC to allow its portfolio firms access to the phone manufacturer's technology.

A new $50 million venture capital fund, called Proof of Capital, has been launched to back early-stage blockchain companies.

According to a TechCrunch report published on Wednesday, the fund is being led by three industry experts – Phil Chen, an HTC executive who is in charge of the company’s blockchain phone Exodus, Edith Yeung, a partner at 500 Startups, and Thiel fellow Chris McCann.

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Following a traditional approach

The San Fransisco-based fund will focus its investment on nascent blockchain startups working in various sectors including fintech, infrastructure, and hardware. The report also detailed that the investments will be made in fiat, unlike many blockchain venture capitals that offer tokens to startups.

“It’s a VC fund so the setup is traditional,” Edith Yeung explained to TechCrunch. “There’s been a lot of interesting movements in the last two years, [but] we come from a more traditional VC background and are excited about the technology.”

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Though the venture capital is primarily focusing on the Asian market, given the strong contacts of its two co-founders in the region, its first investment was made in a Latin America-based blockchain fintech startup named Ubanx.

“It’s still really early [for blockchain] and a lot of the hype — the boom and bust — is down to the crypto market and ICOs, but the reality is that a lot of these technologies are really nascent. Now, projects are raising equity, even if they have a token,” she added.

The fund also inked a partnership deal with HTC that will allow its portfolio companies to work with the consumer electronics manufacturer and develop products for its blockchain-enabled smartphone.

VCs are taking interest in blockchain

Though a bear has been dominating the crypto market for more than a year, many venture capitals popped up to bet on early-stage blockchain startups. Pantera Capital, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital, recently raised $160 million for its third blockchain-focused fund. The managers are aiming to include 35 startups in the fund’s portfolio.

Earlier this month, Finance Magnates reported that Okta launched a $50 million fund to invest in startups working on emerging technologies including blockchain and artificial intelligence.

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