Red Beard Ventures Closes $25M Funding Round With Animoca Brands, Others

The Web3 venture capital firm hopes to support early-stage DeFi and Web3 gaming projects and is also launching a tokenomics accelerator.

AccessTimeIconMay 16, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
Updated May 16, 2023 at 8:38 p.m. UTC

Web3 venture capital firm Red Beard Ventures has closed a $25 million funding round with investment from prominent Web3 players including a16z's Marc Andreessen and Chris Dixon, Web3 gaming giant Animoca Brands, John Crain, CEO of non-fungible token (NFT) platform SuperRare and others.

The fresh funding round is aimed at accelerating the adoption of Web3 technologies and supports the launch of a tokenomics accelerator program called Denarii Labs, a joint initiative with Horizen Labs Ventures. This program will focus on advisory services, weekly educational sessions, mentorship, launch support and more for those launching token projects.

The accelerator is currently accepting applications for its inaugural cohort, slated to begin the third quarter of this year, and each company will receive $100,000 to build its brand.

Red Beard Ventures launched as a syndicate of startup accelerator AngelList in 2019 by founder and managing partner Drew Austin. It has invested in 192 companies, including NBA Top Shot parent Dapper Labs, metaverse platform The Sandbox and data aggregator CryptoSlam, deploying more than $40 million in capital. The company has found success in Web3, though it also invests in projects related to space exploration, climate science, robotics, AI, fintech and biotech.

"I've been on the other side of this," Austin told CoinDesk. "I've been a founder since I was 19. So I'm used to raising money."

The goal of the new fund is to interact with early-stage projects in the areas of decentralized protocols, novel blockchain technology, decentralized finance (DeFi) and Web3 gaming infrastructure, which Austin believes will be the "accelerant" for mass adoption.

"I think it's going to bring an exponentially greater audience than we've seen from NFTs and DeFi," he said. "Those people are going to have expectations of better infrastructure, more scalable infrastructure, better user experiences, better on-ramping, interoperability across chains – there's just a lot of stuff that still needs to be done."

Austin said his success as an investor is tied to his early interest in projects across NFTs, DeFi and blockchain technology and from his personal journey as a digital art collector.

"I'm a collector, I'm a builder, and the fun thing is that I get to like see this space from so many different angles," he said.

"It's been a really unique competitive advantage," he added.

Edited by Toby Leah Bochan.


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Rosie Perper

Rosie Perper was the Deputy Managing Editor for Web3 and Learn, focusing on the metaverse, NFTs, DAOs and emerging technology like VR/AR. She has previously worked across breaking news, global finance, tech, culture and business. She holds a small amount of BTC and ETH and several NFTs. Subscribe to her weekly newsletter, The Airdrop.