Three analysts from investment company BlackRock have jumped ship to launch their own venture fund focused on blockchain projects.
Three analysts quit their jobs at $6.3 trln international investment giant BlackRock to found a $20 mln venture capital fund Eterna Capital, which will focus on blockchain projects, Financial News reported May 2.
The $20 mln venture capital fund reportedly aims to attract institutional investors and will operate under the direction of Andrea Bonaceto, who established online recruitment platform HiredGrad in 2014. Bonaceto launched the fund in late April in partnership with Nassim Olive, Asim Ahmad, and Mattia Mrvosevic, who were earlier employed at BlackRock.
Eterna Capital aims to invest in blockchain solutions that target UN Sustainable Development Goals like world hunger, poverty, clean water, and affordable clean energy. Bonaceto said:
“One example is the disintermediation of banks in under-banked third-world countries, so people don’t need banks to get a loan, as the money can be held on the blockchain. Or selling solar power between neighbors, rather than relying on an energy firm, is another example of how blockchain can be used for social impact.”
Olive said that his experience with insurance firms at Blackrock convinced him that there was institutional interest in investing in blockchain. However, big investors are wary of direct investment into such vehicles due to the size of the market. He stated:
“2017 was the year of Bitcoin and [initial coin offerings] (ICOs), but we’re convinced 2018 will be when blockchain and cryptos will rise as an asset class, and when institutional money moves into this market.”
Olive said there was “no way they [large institutions] will risk the reputation risk by launching a $20-100 mln blockchain or crypto fund,” adding, “This is why more people with an institutional track record are launching their own ventures.”
Last month, Cointelegraph reported that former Spark Capital, Twitter, and Facebook comms expert Rachel Horowitz left her job at Facebook to serve as Vice President of Communications at cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.