SPiCE VC has announced a new $250 million blockchain-focused fund, five times larger than the firm’s first fund and structured to appeal to institutional investors. The firm will also kick off a roadshow in Dubai to court potential backers, according to a press release provided to CoinDesk.
The initial SPiCE I fund was a $50 million tokenized vehicle (meaning the fund’s assets were turned into tokens to provide liquidity to investors) that started raising money in 2017 when blockchain technology was generally used in financial verticals. The fund’s portfolio included three companies that went public last year: digital security platform INX Limited (INXD), online lottery platform Lottery.com (LTRY) and crypto exchange Bakkt (BKKT).
SPiCE II is launching after blockchain use has spread to a wider range of industries, including gaming, retail, healthcare and supply chain management.
“The focus of [SPiCE II] is the same. We invest in companies that are building significant pieces of the blockchain ecosystem, and companies that are building infrastructure. Companies that are building on distributed ledger technology to significantly change industries,” Tal Elyashiv, co-founder and managing partner of SPiCE VC, told CoinDesk in an interview. “ [But] the breadth is much bigger. So we expect more diversity in SPiCE II versus SPiCE I.”
SPiCE II’s structure and focus
SPiCE II has a more traditional venture capital structure with a tokenized portion, the size of which will be determined by investor interest, explained Elyashiv. The larger size of the fund means SPiCE VC can take the lead role in more rounds and invest in more companies than with the SPiCE I.
Whereas SPiCE I raised funding from family offices, small funds of funds and high net worth individuals, SPiCE II is targeting the participation of institutional investors. SPiCE VC has already seen investor interest in Dubai, where SPiCE has an office, making it the natural kickoff location for the roadshow.
“The environment in Dubai is very vibrant. We’ve seen a lot of deals move relatively quickly there, so it’s a good place to start,” said Elyashiv. “Dubai is also driving growth in terms of local adoption of blockchain. So there’s much more awareness of blockchain [there] in a broader scope than just crypto.”
The second SPiCE fund is launching as crypto venture capital investments continue at a steady pace after last year’s record-breaking fund launches from Andreessen Horowtiz and Paradigm, despite the recent decline in digital asset prices. Crypto native VC firm Dragonfly Capital recently announced a $650 million third crypto fund, more than double the size of the prior fund.
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