Former Binance Executives Launches $ 100 Million Crypto Fund – TechCrunch

A group of former executives from Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, have established a $ 100 million venture capital fund, the team told TechCrunch on Thursday.

Old Fashion Research (OFR) – whose name is derived from the classic cocktail – was founded in late 2021 by associate directors Ling Zhang, former vice president of mergers and acquisitions and investments at Binance, and Wayne Fu, former head of business development on the crypto exchange.

The fund is focused on the meta-verse and bringing greater crypto-adoption to new markets like Latin America and Africa, Zhang told TechCrunch.

“We want to work with builders in the long term,” Zhang said. “We are very focused on the southern hemisphere. … We target all new markets, but our goal and vision is to accelerate adoption there.

At Binance, Zhang was responsible for several strategic acquisitions and investments, including FTX, Multicoin Capital and CertiK.

Capital was raised by limited partners, traditional venture capital funds, family offices and angel investors inside and outside the crypto ecosystem, the global gaming platform WEMIX l investment, Zhang noted.

The project operated in stealth mode until today, but has invested in more than 50 blockchain projects to date, including the Nansen blockchain analytics platform, WOO Network trading platform, NFT games to win Genopets and Africa’s largest gaming community, Metaverse Magna.

“We believe in the meta-verse, not only user activity, but also the asset perspective,” Zhang said. “We believe that web3 will be the very first step to revolutionize [our] own identities and wealth management.

Wei Zhou, the former CFO of Binance, will act as OFR’s strategic advisor and investor, and its venture capital alert will be supported by his partner Jiang Xin, who led Binance Labs’ major investment deals and Launchpad such as Axie Infinity, Moonbeam, Alpha Finance and more.

“Market conditions have cooled down a bit since the beginning of the year, and we believe this is more of an opportunity than a challenge for OFR,” Xin said. “Since [the fund] is newly launched, we can find cheaper and more sensible valuations during the market downturn and many bubbles will come out.

Zhang said he noticed a growing interest in funds entering the crypto area or the launch of new funds to invest in crypto after seeing the potential in blockchain technology and the crypto ecosystem.

“More and more VCs are looking for ways to invest in crypto projects,” Zhang said. “Crypto in itself is a revolution and a disruption of the main board. It is no longer centralized in a top-down approach.

Earlier this week, Andreessen Horowitz announced his fourth crypto-focused fund for $ 4.5 billion. The fund, which is more than twice the size of its $ 2.2 billion third fund, will dedicate only one-third of its mega-fund to seed deals.

Over the past few weeks, a number of mega-funds have been launched in the crypto area, showing that even though the markets may be down, venture capitalists are cashing in on emotions and continuing to invest in the crypto space.

Asked about bearish market sentiment scaring traditional companies away from continuing to invest in crypto, a16z’s general partner Arianna Simpson told TechCrunch that “other companies are likely to pull out” but that “the size of our new fund speaks to the level of excitement and conviction we have in this category.

Zhang reiterated this, noting that market declines give investors who want to reach capital into space clarity about what bets to make.

“It’s the best time for us to identify long-term believers in the cryptocurrency space, and it’s the best time to make investments and incubate more projects,” Zhang said.

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