Rockefeller’s VC Arm Venrock Feels Lure of Cryptocurrencies

Venrock plans to invest in blockchain startups using the traditional venture ‎capital ‎fashion‎.

Despite the rise of so-called initial coin offerings, or ICOs, cryptocurrency startups ‎are still landing venture capital funding. US venture capital firm Venrock ‎Associates is now branching out into the cryptocurrency space as the company that sprang from the Rockefeller fortune wants to get a piece of the action.‎

David Pakman, a partner at the New York-based firm, told Bloomberg that the ‎VC fund will invest explicitly in firms that focus on blockchain and digital ‎currencies.‎

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Venrock plans to invest in blockchain startups using the traditional venture capital ‎fashion, offering cash in return for equity, before any potential ICO. It’s too early ‎to say for certain whether the change will lead to outsized investment ‎returns, ‎but Pakman says these tokens have the potential to ‎increase in value and can be traded – thus providing investors with a means to cash ‎in.   ‎

“I think this is one of the most transformative tech ecosystems and has the ‎possibility of creating hundreds of companies worth billions of dollars each,” ‎Pakman said.‎

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Venrock has already joined a Brooklyn-based cryptocurrency ‎investor group called CoinFund, which helps startups build ‎blockchain-based projects.‎

‎“I am approaching this from the very first that this is a fundamentally ‎interesting technological innovation that enabled very serious value creation ‎and may also be a legitimate way to build value away from internet platforms ‎of today,” Pakman added.‎

Venrock was established in 1969 by the grandson of John Rockefeller as the ‎investment business of the Rockefeller family, although the firm opened up to outside ‎investors in 1995.‎

Over the years, Venrock invested in what would later become web giants, ‎including Intel, Apple, and LinkedIn, among many other big winners. As such, the firm is also feeling the lure of cryptocurrencies and fear the potential ‎downside if they miss the boat. ‎

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