Stronghold launches $100M enterprise arm to spend money on underrepresented founders and fintech • TechCrunch

Funds infrastructure firm Stronghold has launched a enterprise capital arm to deploy $100 million of its stability sheet capital in startups and funds in three core methods — underrepresented founders, fintech and web3, CEO Tammy Camp advised TechCrunch in an interview.

Stronghold provides a set of fintech and blockchain APIs and companies, together with embedded funds, clearing and settlement, in keeping with its web site. The startup, based in 2017, partnered with IBM to create a blockchain-based stablecoin for fast cost processing. It has raised $3.3 million in funding to this point by means of its 2017 seed spherical, which was led by Freestyle Capital’s Dave Samuel and featured participation from a bunch of angel buyers in enterprise and fintech.

The brand new VC arm, known as Stronghold Capital, has already invested in firms together with Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Analysis and funds together with Precursor Ventures and Backstage Capital, each of which have a observe report of backing underrepresented founders. Stronghold Capital made the funding in Alameda Analysis by means of a syndicated DeFi (decentralized finance) mortgage on the blockchain-based institutional funding platform Maple Finance, in keeping with the corporate.

The fund seeks to spend money on firms that may present “bidirectional worth” with Stronghold’s strains of enterprise, Camp stated. She added that by investing in fund managers straight, Stronghold can have entry to a sourcing pipeline for firms it might need to again, too.

Sevety-five % of Stronghold Capital’s present investments are in underrepresented or ignored founders, Camp stated. The enterprise fund plans to construct out its staff this 12 months and intends to rent buyers who’re consultants in every of the three particular areas of focus, she added.

Stronghold launched its personal token known as SHx in 2018, which is now listed on crypto exchanges, together with KuCoin, and has a market cap of over $1.5 billion, the corporate says. Companies utilizing Stronghold’s cost rails are rewarded with SHx, which they’ll use to offset their charges. They’ll additionally use the token to make DeFi loans to different companies and handle inside governance processes, in keeping with Camp.

The token’s traction amongst companies drove development at Stronghold in 2021 — the corporate says enterprise grew “fivefold throughout most measures” final 12 months. Camp stated this traction served as a catalyst for the fund launch, an initiative Stronghold execs had been contemplating for a very long time.

“I believe that funds and monetary companies are an enormous area and it’s going to take loads of gamers to have the ability to fulfill their mission as a result of there are such a lot of cost rails as of late,” Camp stated. “With the ability to accomplice with different firms or fund managers to meet that imaginative and prescient is one thing that we’re tremendous enthusiastic about.”

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