A Review of New Institutional Investors in the Crypto Space in 2021

Led by Bitcoin, the crypto market created a legend in 2021, and categories including NFT, GameFi, and the metaverse have remained trending. It is also noteworthy that ‘Dogecoin’ and ‘Ethereum Price’ ranked 4th and 10th, respectively, on the list of Year in Search 2021 in Google Trends. ‘Dogecoin’ had even been more frequently searched than ‘COVID’. In short, 2021 had been a memorable year that marks the key growth of the crypto industry.

With great popularity comes opportunities for enormous profits. Mainstream media platforms, Internet giants, investment tycoons have all joined a crypto war, telling us that money never sleeps. According to PitchBook Data, VC funds had invested over $30 billion in the crypto sector. Although the established institutions have been more prudent than the new players who marched ahead while riding the trends, they have also made strategic investments worldwide.

Today, let’s review the investment institutions created in 2021 that tapped into the trends.

I. OP Crypto

Official website: https://www.opcrypto.vc/

OP Crypto, founded in June 2021, is a venture capital firm that supports early-stage start-ups in the new digital asset economy. It is dedicated to supporting early-stage (pre-seed and seed) projects across the Web 3.0 space, including DeFi, the metaverse, GameFi, DAOs, and infrastructure layers. The fund is backed by top-tier institutional players such as Huobi, Bybit, Galaxy Vision Hill, Digital Currency Group, and Republic.

Relying on their keen insights into both western and eastern markets, the OP Crypto team is well-positioned to evaluate and understand a wide range of projects on a global scale. To date, OP Crypto has invested in eight projects, spanning such fields as GameFi, DeFi, DAO, etc.

II. ViaBTC Capital

Official website: https://capital.viabtc.com/?lang=en_US

ViaBTC Capital, a wholly-owned investment brand under ViaBTC Group founded on October 23, 2021, combines funding, resource support, and post-investment services. It is an ecosystem-centered investment platform focusing on Web 3.0 and Layer 2 projects as well as DApps that feature DeFi, NFT, or DAO elements.

ViaBTC Capital has set up a $50 million special VC fund primarily for Web3.0 and Layer 2 infrastructures, as well as DeFi, NFT, and DAO applications. Moreover, the fund will also synergize crypto infrastructures and help projects implement their concepts. Following the vision of “making the world a better place through blockchain”, ViaBTC Capital has built an investment alliance together with leading crypto investors that include Pantera Capital, IOSG Ventures, and Shima Capital to help early-stage blockchain projects grow and gain recognition.

Relying on forward-looking insights and well-considered strategies, ViaBTC Capital has invested in 12 projects in the trending segments. For an early-stage project, resources are just as important as funding. Unlike institutions that are solely focused on funding, ViaBTC Capital also offers other resources to project teams and continues to empower them from a wide range of aspects, spanning market promotion, technical guidance, globalized investment networks, crypto influence, project resources, referral of institutional investors, project consultation, etc.

III. Pluto Capital

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PlutoCapitalGP

Established in 2021, Pluto Capital is a Singapore-based blockchain venture capital firm that provides seed funding and incubation for early-stage blockchain-related projects. The core members of the investment team at Pluto Capital are all from well-known financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs and Softbank. Soon after it was founded, Pluto Capital launched a $30 million crypto fund.

The partners of Pluto Capital have built a proven track record of extremely successful early-stage investments in today’s crypto giants like Binance, Bybit, Bitmain, Polkadot, and DeHorizon.

IV. y2z Ventures

Official website: https://y2z.io/

y2z Ventures, founded last year, is a long-term venture fund focused on early-stage investments in the metaverse and the digital economy. On December 13, 2021, the fund upgraded its brand to y2z Ventures and switched the focus to the metaverse and Web 3.0, with a new website (y2z.io) and brand logo. Meanwhile, the brand has also been repositioned, which is well reflected by its slogan: “from yesterday to Gen Z”. In the future, y2z Ventures will continue to support young start-up teams in the crypto industry.

Since its inception, y2z Ventures has invested in many big-name projects, covering rct AI, Rangers Protocol, Cthuwork, Blocto, ShowMe, SecondLive, May, CryptoC, NFTScan, Cassava, Digination, Vibra, myNFT, and Nash Metaverse. In the future, the fund will keep expanding the investment and incubation of quality metaverse and Web 3.0 projects worldwide.

Capital represents an essential driving force against the blockchain boom and metaverse innovations. However, all institutional investors have their own style and criteria, and the most important factor in investment is one’s market insight. During the mutual selection process in which institutional investors and early-stage projects choose each other, project teams should give more consideration to resources, instead of focusing on funding alone. For instance, backed by an investment alliance, ViaBTC Capital could offer more business resources. In today’s crypto space, where projects face cutthroat competition in all categories, cash is no longer the king. However, if project teams selected the right investor, they could not only receive support in terms of business resources and connections but also gain a partner who will be there for them at critical moments.

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