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 Huobi’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 Huobi’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 Ethereum’s transaction problem, the Optimistic Virtual Machine (OVM).
The launch of Huobi Ventures builds on this momentum and expands Huobi’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 Huobi’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.
“While we’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,” said Zhang, in a statement.
He added, “We 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.”
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.
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