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Crypto venture firm Blockchain Capital is raising $150 million for two funds

  • According to SEC filings this week, the firm has raised about $85 million combined for the two funds.
  • One of the funds -- Blockchain Capital Parallel Fund IV -- only accepts contributions in cryptocurrencies, according to a source familiar with the firm.
  • Blockchain Capital has invested in 42 companies in the past three years, according to its website.
    Bart Stephens, Blockchain Capital
    Source: Blockchain Capital
    Bart Stephens, Blockchain Capital

    Blockchain Capital, one of the first venture firms to specialize in bitcoin and crypto projects, is setting out to raise $150 million in two funds, with plans to invest in companies and emerging cryptocurrencies.

    The firm, based in San Francisco, said in SEC filings on Monday that each fund is raising $75 million. To date, Blockchain Capital IV has raised $60 million and Blockchain Capital Parallel Fund IV has raised $25 million.

    The two funds are identical in how the money will be put to work, according to a person familiar with the firm. But in the parallel fund, the limited partners will participate by contributing cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum, as opposed to fiat currencies like dollars and euros, said the source, who asked not to be named because the details are confidential.

    Blockchain Capital was founded in 2013 by brothers Bart and Bradford Stephens along with Brock Pierce, chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation. The firm has invested in 42 companies in the past three years, according to its website, and has stakes in digital asset exchange Coinbase and bitcoin wallets Xapo and Abra.

    With the new funds, Blockchain Capital will continue to invest in companies that are building on top of the blockchain digital ledger, and it will buy tokens in cryptocurrency projects. Since the start of 2017, there's been an explosion in initial coin offerings, or ICOs, in which crypto companies raise money by creating and selling their own currencies.

    About $2.6 billion have been raised through ICOs, with almost all of that occurring this year, according to Coindesk. The SEC is just starting to analyze the legality of token offerings.

    In a previous fund, Blockchain bought tokens tied to crypto projects from Bancor Network, Ripple, Kik Interactive and ZeroEx as well as bitcoin and ethereum.

    Unlike traditional venture funds, which typically count on big checks from large institutions, Blockchain Capital is raising smaller amounts of money from a wide swath of investors. According to the filing for the fourth fund, 76 investors have committed a minimum of $100,000. The firm even takes money from investors on start-up crowdfunding site AngelList.