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Crypto exchange Huobi launches $100 million fund to support early-stage DeFi projects Crypto exchange Huobi launches $100 million fund to support early-stage DeFi projects

Crypto exchange Huobi launches $100 million fund to support early-stage DeFi projects

The parent of the popular Huobi exchange eyes emerging blockchain, DeFi, and NFT projects as its new investment arm consolidates the companyโ€™s venture investment strategy

Crypto exchange Huobi launches $100 million fund to support early-stage DeFi projects

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate

A new venture arm by the Huobi Group will deploy $100 million into early-stage blockchain and decentralized finance (DeFi) projects over a three-year period, it said in a release shared with CryptoSlate.

The fund will additionally make strategic acquisitions to diversify and expand Huobiโ€™s offerings, and establish a dedicated $10 million USD non-fungible token (NFT) fund.

A consolidated effort

Led by Huobi Group CFO Lily Zhang, Huobi Ventures consolidates several existing investment vehicles, including Huobi Eco Fund, Huobi Capital, and Huobi DeFi Labs, into a single entity that will drive Huobiโ€™s investment strategy.

To date, Huobi has invested $69.42 million dollars across hundreds of projects in blockchain, media, public blockchains, stablecoins, and more. The return and balance on hand have reached approximately $215 million.

Notable past investments include Ampleforth (AMPL), the world’s first rebasing currency, which is ideal for use in the smart contracts of DeFi protocols; Terra, a programmable money for the internet that makes spending more seamless, which also recently passed the $2 billion USD market cap; Oasis Network, a privacy-enabled blockchain platform for open finance and a responsible data economy; and Optimism, a startup which recently soft launched its solution to Ethereumโ€™s transaction problem, the Optimistic Virtual Machine (OVM).

The launch of Huobi Ventures builds on this momentum and expands Huobiโ€™s investment focus into two key areas: corporate mergers & acquisitions (M&As) and venture capital.

Targeting DeFi and NFTs

Under the M&A unit, the Ventures arm aims to identify strategic opportunities across different blockchain verticals to complement and expand Huobiโ€™s product offerings. Acquisitions will be integrated into the parent company’s growing suite of blockchain-enabled applications and services to expand the business into new markets. The venture capital unit will make long-term investments in emerging blockchain use cases and DeFi projects.

โ€œWhile weโ€™ve made significant progress in our investments already, the formation of Huobi Ventures is a more concerted effort to accelerate our growth at a pivotal point for Huobi,โ€ said Zhang, in a statement.

He added, โ€œWe have had separate teams focus on different investment strategies, but by bringing everyone together under a single entity, we can create a more cohesive strategy and continue to invest in and support the most innovative projects that are shaping the blockchain and DeFi spaces.โ€

In addition to its M&A and venture capital business units, Huobi Ventures is also establishing a dedicated $10 million NFT fund. It comes as the niche space continues to grow with the rise of platforms like NBA Top Shot, Rarible, and OpenSea.

Posted In: DeFi, Investments