BlockTower’s venture lead unpacks new $150 million fund

Episode 99 of Season 4 of The Scoop was recorded remotely with The Block's Frank Chaparro and BlockTower General Partner & Head of Venture Thomas Klocanas.

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BlockTower yesterday unveiled a new $150 million fund, which has been operating in stealth since December of last year.

BlockTower also announced a new venture arm, which complements the firm’s long-biased flagship fund, market-neutral fund and credit strategies.

In this episode of The Scoop, Thomas Klocanas, BlockTower general partner and the new head of ventures, explains how BlockTower’s new venture fund synergizes with the firm’s existing strategies, and how this is advantageous for early-stage crypto projects.

According to Klocanas, BlockTower’s four strategies collectively have more utility than a single specialized fund could have on its own:

"If you're a DeFi protocol at seed stage, one of the first things you're calling your investors to solve for following your seed round is how do you bootstrap liquidity?… The benefit within BlockTower, our market-neutral fund, that's a big part of their mandate, that's a big part of how they generate yields — so there are obvious synergies where we can pipe that in.”

Given this interoperability between the different facets of the business, Klocanas believes his new fund is more aptly referred to as a "strategic" fund:


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“We're not just a venture fund, we’re a ‘strategic.’ When folks say ‘strategic,’ they typically think of Coinbase’s investment arm or Gemini’s investment arm, but really I think that category is a little wider, and BlockTower is strategic in that we have multiple funds and strategies that can not just be an investor, but a user of your platform.”

For Klocanas, of all the crypto industry's subsectors,  “the highest conviction theme right now is definitely credit.”

Given the amount of re-hypothecation in crypto that was exposed earlier this year, Klocanas believes there are clear advantages to decentralized lending:

“There is a benefit to lending through a smart contract in that in the pecking order, if you're lending with something that has claims on collateral with code, you're going to get paid.

During this episode, Chaparro and Klocanas also discuss:

  • Why BlockTower is still enthusiastic about tokens;
  • Whether or not the crypto venture landscape is still overheated;
  • What lessons crypto VCs can learn from traditional venture.

This episode is brought to you by our sponsors Tron

About Tron
TRON is dedicated to accelerating the decentralization of the internet via blockchain technology and decentralized applications (dApps). Founded in September 2017 by H.E. Justin Sun, the TRON network has continued to deliver impressive achievements since MainNet launch in May 2018. July 2018 also marked the ecosystem integration of BitTorrent, a pioneer in decentralized web3 services boasting over 100 million monthly active users. The TRON network completed full decentralization in December 2021 and is now a community-governed DAO. | TRONDAO | Twitter | Discord |

© 2023 The Block. All Rights Reserved. This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

About Authors

Davis Quinton is the Director of Podcasts at The Block and runs our flagship podcast called The Scoop, hosted by Frank Chaparro. Since joining The Block as an 'intern' in early 2022, he has worked closely with leaders across departments to translate The Block's written content into engaging multimedia formats. He holds a degree in Social Research & Public Policy from New York University in Abu Dhabi and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Frank Chaparro is Host of The Scoop podcast and Director of Special Projects. He also writes a biweekly newsletter. Chaparro started his career at Business Insider, where he specialized in the intersection of digital assets and Wall Street, market structure, and financial technology. Soon after joining Business Insider out of Fordham University, Chaparro was interviewing top finance and tech executives, including billionaire Mark Cuban, “Flash Boys” star Brad Katsuyama, Cboe Global Markets CEO Ed Tilly, and New York Stock Exchange President Tom Farley. In 2018, he become a sought after reporter in the crypto world, interviewing luminaries such as Tyler Winklevoss, the cofounder of Gemini, Jeremy Allaire, the CEO of Circle, and Fundstrat head Tom Lee. For inquiries or tips, email [email protected].