Mike Dudas of 6th Man Ventures has amassed the bulk of $145 million from a who’s who of big name crypto investors for his second venture fund.
6th Man Ventures, a venture capital firm co-founded by Dudas and StayTuned Digital CEO Serge Kassardjian, is the final stages of closing the $145 million raise, Dudas said in an interview with The Block. They have already collected $140 million.
Limited partners for the fund include Galaxy Vision Hill, Three Arrows Capital, Sino Global Capital, FTX Ventures, Animoca Brands and AngelList. They are joined by a bevy of individual investors including billionaire Bill Ackman, Marc Andreessen and Chris Dixon of Andreessen Horowitz, Tushar Jain and Kyle Samani of Multicoin Capital, ParaFi’s Ben Forman, Kevin Colleran and Sam Lessin of Slow Ventures, and Solana’s Raj Gokal.
Dudas founded The Block in 2018 before departing last year to join stablecoin firm Paxos. He transitioned to an advisory role at Paxos in February. Dudas also co-founded LinksDAO, an NFT-funded attempt to acquire, decentralize and widen access to golf clubs.
Dudas and Kassardjian had a mere $7.4 million to play with for 6th Man’s first fund. Dudas called it an “operator fund,” with an average check size of around $100,000. But 6th Man has now completed investments in over 100 projects and protocols, though only around 20 of those are public.
Some investments have taken off. 6th Man has backed the likes of NFT marketplace Magic Eden; STEPN, a startup that gamifies exercising; Rainbow Wallet; and Etherscan. These successes convinced Dudas to give venture capital a go full-time. He started raising capital for the second fund late last year.
That fund and indeed 6th Man in general is purely focused on venture capital — as distinct from those that also dabble in liquid token investing and late-stage rounds. It targets pre-seed, seed and some Series A stage deals, but with a larger check size than its predecessor, up to $4 million with an average between $1-2 million.
“We’re purely venture and that’s a big, big thing. We’re not going to be the guys that dump your tokens,” said Dudas, adding that while some funds are now expecting to see returns on their investments within four years, 6th Man has a ten-year return horizon. The $145 million won’t have to be deployed until five years after the fund has closed, he added. “We think that’s a real advantage in this market — we don’t have to rush,” said Dudas.
Roughly 20 investments have already been made through the second fund. Broadly speaking, Dudas is targeting three areas of crypto: play-to-earn gaming and metaverse projects; web3 networks and Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs); and infrastructure.
As to what 6th Man can offer startups in an extremely crowded crypto venture market, Dudas said the fund’s personnel will assist portfolio firms with marketing, media relations, go-to-market strategy and business development.
In addition to Dudas and Kassardjian, 6th Man has brought in Carl Vogel and Aaron Kern as partners. Vogel, who was most recently a senior product manager at Paxos and before that a product manager at Google, is overseeing a new research initiative at the venture capital firm. The aim is to produce practical research that 6th Man can share with founders, offering insights on topics like ZK-rollups and how to structure DAOs.
Dudas has one more selling point in mind for enticing founders to his fund: “we’re not assholes, and we’re not mercenaries,” he said.
Mike Dudas is the co-founder and former CEO of The Block. He no longer has a financial interest in The Block.
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