Symbolic Capital, a new crypto-focused venture capital firm that includes Polygon blockchain founder Sandeep Nailwal among its leadership, has raised $50 million for a fund to invest in early-stage Web3 companies, the latest in a wave of new fund launches in the face of the crypto bear market.
Investors in the Symbolic fund included a number of crypto industry participants, protocols, exchanges, auditing firms and venture capitalists among them. Family offices and institutions also backed the fund, which will cut checks of $500,000 to $1 million per project.
“It’s a builder’s time,” Symbolic partner Kenzi Wang told CoinDesk in an interview, referring to the current market conditions. “There’s less distraction. We feel like this is a time to really help the next generation of founders.”
Wang, who co-founded decentralized data cloud Cere, met Polygon’s Nailwal while at Binance Labs in 2019 and the two started investing together. Symbolic Capital was launched as a way for Web3 founders to back early-stage startups, similar to how billionaire Peter Thiel co-founded the Web2 Founders Fund in 2005, said Wang.
“We're still at the dial-up stage of Web3, and there's not enough user adoption,” said Wang. “We want to empower founders to come in and build applications that bring more users into the Web3 spheres.”
Crypto verticals of interest include the Web2 to Web3 transition, metaverse, the creator economy, blockchain interoperability and scaling solutions, and the commercialization of non-fungible token (NFT) technology by brands, according to Symbolic’s website.
Half of Symbolic Capital’s staff is dedicated to providing operational support for founders. The wide-ranging support includes legal matters, product integrations, internal audits, networking with other founders and go-to-market activities. The firm will also offer a data platform that scrapes and analyzes sources like GitHub repositories and LinkedIn to provide founders with market trends and recruitment assistance.
Symbolic has started deploying funds and initial investments include blockchain game developers BlinkMoon, Planet Mojo, and Community Gaming.
Read more: Polygon and Matic: What’s the Difference?
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.