September 4, 2019

London crypto giant, backed by Richard Branson, eyes $50m venture arm

Blockchain startups have a new source of backing on the horizon. And it comes from one of the most high-profile groups in the space.

Isabel Woodford

1 min read

It's fair to say blockchain is not short of funding; in the first half of 2019 alone, startups in the space reportedly raised an eye-watering $822m. But entrepreneurs are now preparing to get a fresh bout of capital from the venture capital arm of London-based cryptocurrency wallet provider confirmed to Sifted on Wednesday that its venture arm is eying raising $50m that it will pump into relevant startups. Chief executive Peter Smith also hinted the venture arm had already secured "half" of the $50m funding goal. This story was first reported by Yahoo Finance.

Founded in 2011, has attracted a wealth of high-profile backers, including the former chief executive of Barclays Antony Jenkins, who sits on its board,  as well as Google Ventures and entrepreneur Richard Branson, who took part in its $70m combined fundraise.


Meanwhile, David Cameron opened the company’s London offices during his time as the UK's prime minister.

Smith told Sifted that Blockchain Ventures would be looking to invest in crypto startups across the world, including those based in Europe. Indeed, it has already invested in Lithuanian-based DappRadar, a marketplace for dapps (Decentralised or "blockchain-based" apps).

DappRadar also revealed exclusively to Sifted that Blockchain Ventures had participated in their recent $2.33m seed round, led by European tech VC NaspersVentures.

Blockchain Ventures is a separate corporation from, having morphed out of its parent company's earliest strategic investments; financed from the main balance sheet. In July 2018, it appointed Sam Harrison to lead the venture arm.

The company claims to have more than 40m wallet users and hopes to revolutionise the global payments system using crypto. Its current revenue streams include selling data and advertising, although figures remain obscure. The venture arm could, therefore, be a bet on boosting its business model.