London-based Eden Block, the crypto venture capital firm, today announced the hire of former Goldman Sachs partner Orit Freedman Weissman as a general partner.
Freedman Weissman spent 20 years as a partner for Goldman in Israel from the early nineties until 2014. As well as setting up the bank's Israeli business and running it as regional CEO, she specialized in M&A, financing and investing in private companies — in particular in the tech sector. She was later involved in bringing the Mandarin Oriental hotel to Tel Aviv.
More recently, Freedman Weissman has performed due diligence on over 50 crypto-focused funds for her family office, she said in an interview with The Block. Of those, she said several made overtures about her coming on board. But it was Lior Messika’s Eden Block that caught her eye.
“Eden Block is a true hidden gem,” she said. “I was impressed with the portfolio. I was impressed with the top performance. I love the strategy of early-stage infrastructure.”
Eden Block remains small relative to rivals in the crypto VC world, such as a16z crypto, Paradigm and Polychain. Its first fund to manage outside capital, raised roughly a year and a half ago, is $30 million in size.
But the business has made some promising bets, including the likes of privacy startup Nym Technologies, Bored Ape Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs and Gensyn, the compute power marketplace that just scored a $43 million Series A round. It even has a few exits in the form of Hal, GK8 and Chainspace, which were acquired by Consensys, Celsius and Facebook, respectively.
“We’ve been dedicated to infrastructure since Chainspace and that’s all we’ve done,” said Messika, who also sits on the advisory board of his family’s jewellery business, André Messika Diamonds. “We’ve been able to attract the best founders in the world working on these problems.”
Freedman Weissman has been brought in to help scale Eden Block, which is currently planning a second fund.
“On a high level, it’s to help institutionalize Eden Block,” she said. Freedman Weissman added that this would mean corralling support from big backers for the next fund, and scaling the company from an operational standpoint.
Freedman Weissman said she sees the advent of web3 as a “seismic shift” that affects all industries. “So being at the core, the infrastructure, is where I want to be,” she added.
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