In the past, only well connected individuals, such as business angels and traditional venture capital firms could invest in promising early stage projects. The emergence of crypto assets in the past few years considerably lowered the barrier to entry for investors. Indeed, anyone in the world with an internet connection can easily participate or invest in crypto networks, which are open by nature.
That being said, the open nature of those networks also means that thousands of projects have emerged in different verticals (infrastructure networks, Layer 1 and Layer 2 protocols, Non Fongible tokens, Decentralised Finance…), making it difficult for uninformed investors to make proper due diligence on those projects. On the other hand, institutional investors benefit from industry relationships and dedicated investment analysts, giving them an edge.
Analysing portfolios of the most prominent blockchain VC firms can help anyone to discover the potential next big trends in this constantly evolving market.
Trakx tracked down the top token holdings (with a market capitalisation >$100m) from the following 5 leading crypto VCs.
Those VC funds have been picked according to their number of followers on Coinmarketcap and on their industry reputation.
- Coinbase Ventures
- Multicoin Capital
- Pantera Capital
- Polychain Capital
- Three Arrows Capital
- Coinbase Ventures is the investment arm of Coinbase that aims to invest in early-stage cryptocurrency and blockchain startups. According to Crunchbase, they invested in 75 companies and led at least 4 rounds. Most of their investments are in equity and are therefore less liquid than other funds that invest directly in tokens.
- Multicoin Capital was founded in 2017 in Austin, Texas. According to Crunchbase, the fund has invested in 37 companies and led 13 investments such as Solana, The Graph, and Skale Labs. It is a thesis-driven investment firm focused primarily on Layer 1 protocols for Open Finance and Web3 stacks. Web 3 is the next generation of the web in which decentralized apps (dApps) operate on top of a shared data layer and users have control of their data and the ability to move between dApps with little to no switching costs.
- Pantera Capital is a global fund that invests in thematic ideas and projects that are core infrastructure pieces of the blockchain ecosystem, such as exchanges, custodians, institutional trading tools and decentralized finance. Since 2013, they have backed more than 70 blockchain companies and 54 early-stage token deals.
- Polychain Capital is the world's premier investor in cryptocurrency protocols and companies. According to Crunchbase, they invested in at least 125 companies and led no less than 40 investments.
- Three Arrows Capital is a Singapore-based crypto asset fund, founded by Su Zhu and Kyle Davies. The fund holds more than 6% of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust Shares (worth over $1bn) and invests mostly in the decentralised finance ecosystem.
If you are interested in exploring the full portfolios, Messari developed an exhaustive market screening tool.
Mapping out notable token investments from leading Crypto VC funds
- Coinbase Ventures: Uniswap, Compound, Matic, Near, UMA, Celo, Reserve Right, Arweave, Dodo, Keep Network, Audius, Rally
- Multicoin Capital: Binance coin, Solana, Aave, Ftx, Thorchain, Algorand, The Graph, Near protocol, Sushiswap, Helium, Flow, Arweave, Livepeer, Serum, Alpha finance, Skale Network, Keep Network, Audius, Math, Perpetual protocol
- Pantera Capital: XRP, Polkadot, Filecoin, Terra, Ftx, Zcash, Near Protocol, Basic attention token, Icon, 0x, OMG network, Ankr, 1inch, Livepeer, Kyber Network, Balancer, Origin Protocol, Injective Protocol, Dodo, Wax, Kin, Civic, Celer, Ampelforth, Handshake, Audius, Thunder Token
- Polychain Capital: Filecoin, Terra, Maker, Cosmos, Tezos, Avalanche, Compound, Ziliqa, 0x, Celo, Nervos Network, Nucypher, Orchid
- Three Arrows capital: Polkadot, Aave, Compound, Synthetix, Yearn Finance, Kyber Network, Perpetual protocol, Hxro
Those leading VC funds may have different investment strategies. However, it is interesting to mention that most of them are invested in similar sub segments of the market such as Web 3 infrastructure and crypto exchanges tokens. Therefore, they share some holdings in their portfolios. Trakx has listed the tokens held by at least two leading VC in a visual infographic:
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