Fidelity-backed VC firm Eight Roads hires former Coinbase Japan CEO as partner

Quick Take

  • Fidelity-backed Eight Roads Ventures hired Nao Kitazawa, former CEO of Coinbase Japan, as a venture partner.
  • Eight Roads is an investor in crypto firms, including Fireblocks and Kaiko.

Eight Roads Ventures, a Fidelity-backed investment firm that manages assets worth over $11 billion, hired Nao Kitazawa, former CEO of Coinbase Japan, as a venture partner.

Kitazawa joined Eight Roads "to pursue my love for fintech and web3," he said in a recent LinkedIn post. "It's an honor to be a part of a firm with a successful track record of backing some of the world's most innovative and disruptive companies."

He left Coinbase Japan in February of this year after working at the company for nearly five years. Coinbase announced it was exiting Japan at the time, citing "market conditions."

Fidelity's push into crypto

Kitazawa's appointment comes as Fidelity appears to be further spreading its wings into crypto. Earlier this week, EDX Markets, a Fidelity-backed crypto exchange, announced it was launching operations despite a regulatory crackdown by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and bearish market conditions.

Earlier this year, Fidelity's crypto arm, Fidelity Digital Assets, quietly launched its platform, allowing millions of users to trade bitcoin and ether commission-free. Fidelity is also building out a dedicated crypto research team, as The Block reported recently.

As for Eight Roads, the venture firm is an investor in several crypto startups, including Fireblocks and Kaiko, according to The Block Pro's Deals Dashboard. Kitazawa is reportedly expected to "add immense value to the firm's portfolio."

Eight Roads, formerly known as Fidelity Ventures, started investing out of Boston in 1969. Today it has investment teams across Asia, Europe and the U.S. Last year, The firm launched a $350 million technology investment fund for China, as well as a $250 million healthcare and life sciences fund for India.

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