Sino Global Capital, the China-based crypto venture capital firm led by Matthew Graham, has launched a $200 million fund with backing from FTX.
Sharing the news exclusively with The Block on Monday, Sino Global said the fund, Liquid Value Fund I, is close-ended. That means it has a hard cap of $200 million. A "substantial" portion of that amount has already been hard committed by partners like FTX, said Graham.
"We are excited to support the launch of Sino Global Capital's institutional fund," said FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. "From the very beginning, Matthew and the Sino Global Capital team supported the FTX vision and then worked with us to help make it a reality. The Fund will now provide more opportunities to projects that are pushing crypto and blockchain technologies to the next level."
This is the first time Sino Global has accepted outside capital for a fund. Until now, the firm has used proprietary capital to invest in crypto startups. Sino has invested in over 20 crypto projects to date, including Solana, FTX, Serum, and Wintermute.
Some of these investments will be transferred into the new fund, said Graham. These include LayerZero, Clearpool, Orca, and some yet-to-be publicly announced investments.
Solana has been one of the most successful investments of Sino to date. When asked how the firm will replicate that performance for the new fund, Graham said the same "bottom-up" investment approach will be applied to it. "We will be using our same approach of betting on and then working with and supporting entrepreneurs that have similar values of a high-trust and long-term approach to the ecosystem," he said.
The Liquid Value Fund I will invest across crypto projects, including DeFi and NFT infrastructure, and focus more on the Solana and Ethereum ecosystems.
While the fund will invest globally, its key market focus is Asia, including India. "We see India as an extremely important, yet idiosyncratic, market for crypto," said Graham, praising the country's engineering talent.
"We have been active in finding and engaging with the best entrepreneurs in the crypto space in India and will continue to do so aggressively," he said.
This is despite the lack of crypto regulatory certainty in India. Graham said he remains hopeful and believes that the country's government will regulate crypto as a commodity.
There are currently 13 people working for Sino Global, and the firm is looking to hire more people for managing the new fund, said Graham.
Disclaimer: The former CEO and majority shareholder of The Block has disclosed a series of loans from former FTX and Alameda founder Sam Bankman-Fried.
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