A bitcoin syndicate cracked AngelList's top 10 for the first time on 21st February, just one month after it was initially formed.
Created by bitcoin venture capitalist Brock Pierce, who founded ExpressCoin, GoCoin, KnCMiner and Robocoin Asia, the syndicate now ranks eighth in terms of its total monetary backing, with $501,250 from 23 backers.
The syndicate will support 12 bitcoin-related startups this year, with an average of $50,000 being awarded to each company. Companies must contribute to digital currency in order to be eligible for the funds.
The announcement comes amid increasing investor activity in the virtual currency space. Notably, SecondMarket's Bitcoin Investment Trust recently passed 80,000 BTC in holdings, while Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss just this week submitted a revised filing for a public bitcoin ETF.
How AngelList syndicates work
AngelList allows any angel investor or fund to form a syndicate, and for backers to then invest alongside them so that they can collaborate on future deals.
As explained by AngelList, "backers get access to dealflow, leads get carry and startups get access to capital". Backers pay 5-20% carry per deal to the syndicate lead, and 5% to AngelList for facilitating the deals.
Investors are first screened through a verification process, and a special purpose vehicle LLC is created for each investment. Due to US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations, only 99 investors can participate in the syndicate, meaning that Pierce's fund has already reached one-quarter of its maximum capacity.
About the investors
In addition to Pierce, the syndicate includes a noted cast of virtual currency investors. For example, Percival is an advisor for San Francisco-based wallet provider Blockchain.info.
Likewise, Roszak is an investor in digital currency e-commerce and gaming provider GoCoin.com.
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