Pantera's new venture fund sees $1 billion in total commitments

Pantera, a crypto investment firm, is preparing to raise more than $1 billion for a new venture fund, according to an email distributed on Tuesday.

The firm — which has backed crypto projects and companies ranging from the likes of Bakkt and 1inch — is one of the longest operating funds in the digital asset space, investing in crypto tokens and equity since 2013.

Originally, the firm was planning to raise $600 million, as reported by The Information in November. The firm's total commitments for the fund now exceed $1 billion. 

As per the memo, the new fund will invest in the equity of companies as well as tokens in projects, but Pantera plans to offer a venture-only class for investors looking for only equity exposure. 

"For investors who prefer venture, the new fund offers a Venture-Only Class," the memo said. "This class will have exposure only to the equity deals we do – and will not invest directly in tokens. It is essentially 'Pantera Venture Fund IV.'"

The fund plans to take new investments for the fund until April.

This revelation comes after a series of new crypto venture firm announcements. Ex-a16z partner Katie Haun is reportedly raising nearly $900 million for a new crypto venture firm. Elsewhere, FTX recently said has set aside $2 billion for a new venture unit. Crypto fund Paradigm—which recently backed trading giant Citadel Securities in a fundraise—raised $2.5 billion at the end of last year. 

Pantera, like many other crypto hedge funds, performed well in 2022. According to the memo, the firm's Liquid Token Fund returned 385.4% while its early-stage token fund returned 294.6%.

Data from Hedge Fund Research suggests crypto funds returned, in aggregate, 214% in 2021. 

The Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index, meanwhile, posted a return of 153.39%. TCAP — a cryptocurrency that leverages oracles to track the entire market — gained 185% in 2021.

"Investing in these new protocols has helped Pantera funds out-perform industry benchmarks and a bitcoin buy-and-hold strategy," Pantera said of its performance. We anticipate continued out-performance through 2022 as many of our early theses underpinning discretionary investments in our hedge funds continue to develop."