A new venture capital fund called Proof of Capital was launched on Wednesday with US$50
million in funding. The fund will invest in blockchain startups with a focus on
fintech, infrastructure, hardware and consumer products.
The fund was raised last month with backing from the likes
of HTC Exodus, a Taiwanese smartphone and consumer electronics manufacturer,
YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, and Taiwanese company Formosa Plastics.
Edith Yeung, one of the fund’s founders and a partner at 500 Startups, an early stage venture fund based in Silicon Valley, told TechCrunch:
Proof of Capital has already made its first
investment in Ubanx, a Latin America-based blockchain startup that provides
an API banking infrastructure for fiat-crypto exchange in Argentina, Brazil and
other countries in the region.
Reuters that the fund aims to “to meet and build long-term partnerships with
founders who want to define this new Internet.”
Alongside Yeung, Proof of Capital, which has offices in San
Francisco, Hong Kong and Taipei, counts Phil Chen, the “decentralized chief officer”
of HTC and original creator of the HTC Vive virtual reality headset and the HTC
Exodus blockchain phone product lines, as well as Chris McCann, who
previously founded and led the community program at Greylock Partners, as its
The fund has also inked a partnership with HTC Exodus, which
will open the possibility for its portfolio companies to work directly with the
manufacturer to develop services and products for the Exodus phones and
potentially other HTC blockchain ventures.
“For HTC, it’s obvious, they already have a product to go
with it,” Yeung told TechCrunch adding that HTC was interested in investing in
blockchain services and startups to build an ecosystem.
According to the company’s website, Proof of Capital will put
an emphasis on “real adoption and global distribution” with a particular focus
on Asian and emerging markets. The company said
it is looking for “founders who share our ethos and global perspective” which it
will support through customer and business development, marketing, branding, and
distribution, alongside capital.
Advisors to Proof of Capital include Greg Kidd, the former
chief risk of Ripple; Howard Wu, the co-founder of Dekrypt Capital and a
cryptography researcher at the University of California, Berkeley; Dominic
Williams, the founder of Dfinity; Dawn Song, a Berkeley professor and the founder
of Oasis; and Kas Vardhanabhuti, a former trader at the George Soros Fund.