Proof of Capital is a brand new $50M blockchain fund that is backed by HTC • TechCrunch


It’s usually stated that the dramatic fall of crypto costs final yr ushered in a brand new period for technology-focused startups within the blockchain house, and the identical argument will be made for the enterprise capitalists who fund them. Proof of Capital is the most recent fund to emerge after it formally introduced a maiden $50 million fund in the present day.

The fund is led by trio Phil Chen, who created HTC’s Vive VR headset and is at present creating its Exodus blockchain phone (he hung out as a VC with Horizons Ventures in-between); Edith Yeung, who previously headed up mobile for 500 Startups; and Chris McCann, whose final position was head of neighborhood for U.S. VC agency Greylock Companions.

The agency — and you must give them credit score for the title — has an LP base that’s anchored by HTC — no large shock there, given the connections — alongside YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics, Ripple’s former chief threat officer Greg Kidd (who can also be a prolific crypto investor) and various undisclosed household places of work.

“For HTC, it’s apparent, they have already got a product to go together with it,” Yeung advised TechCrunch in an interview, referencing the truth that HTC is eager to put money into blockchain providers and startups to construct an ecosystem for its play.

The fund additionally features a partnership with HTC which, barely hazy on paper, will primarily open the chance for Proof of Capital portfolio firms to work with HTC on to develop providers or merchandise for Exodus and probably different HTC blockchain ventures. However different LPs are additionally eager to dip their toes within the water in numerous methods.

“A few of these backers are curious on the potentialities of blockchain,” continued Yeung. “For instance, they’re giving us some concepts on how tokenization and gamification could possibly be utilized on completely different platforms.”

Proof of Capital founding companions (left to proper) Edith Yeung, Chris McCann and Phil Chen

The fund itself is broadly focused at early-stage blockchain firms in fintech, infrastructure, {hardware} and the “client layers of the blockchain ecosystem.” Its remit is worldwide. Though Chen and Yeung have sturdy networks in Asia, the fund’s first deal is an funding in Latin America-based blockchain fintech startup Ubanx.

Yeung clarified that the fund is held in fiat forex and that it’s centered on common VC offers, versus token-based investments.

“It’s a VC fund so the setup is conventional,” she defined. “There’s been quite a lot of attention-grabbing actions within the final two years, [but] we come from a extra conventional VC background and are excited concerning the expertise.”

“It’s nonetheless actually early [for blockchain] and quite a lot of the hype — the growth and bust — is all the way down to the crypto market and ICOs, however the actuality is that quite a lot of these applied sciences are actually nascent. Now, tasks are elevating fairness, even when they’ve a token,” Yeung added.

Certainly, final yr we wrote about the rise of private sales and that even the biggest blockchain companies took on VC fundingcrypto didn’t kill VCs regardless of the hype — and Yeung stated that blockchain startup founders in 2019 are “taking a extra concerted method” to elevating cash past merely issuing tokens.

“Many tasks that raised ICO actually smelt like fairness,” stated Yeung. “We’re seeing firms in the present day delaying token issuance as a lot as attainable; the entire thing has gone somewhat extra again to earth.”

HTC is an anchor LP in Proof of Capital, and it’s working with the fund to assist its portfolio firms develop providers for its Exodus blockchain cellphone, pictured above



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