Popular cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is launching a new incubator fund for early-stage start ups, the company announced Thursday.
"We're going to invest off our balance sheet into crypto companies," Coinbase President and Chief Operating Officer Asiff Hirji told CNBC's "Fast Money" Thursday. "We will invest in companies that are in the space and are aligned with our values."
Profits from the fund will be "de minimis" in the scope of the entire company but the fund is already off to a $15 million start and set to grow, Hirji said.
The fund's seed-stage investments, which will begin this week, will help companies and founders in the crypto and blockchain space get off the ground. It's also meant to focus on building relationships within that ecosystem, he said.
In order to do that, Coinbase could be investing in its competitors.
"You may also see us invest in companies that ostensibly look competitive with Coinbase," the San Francisco-based company said in a blog post. "We're taking a long term view of the space, and we believe that multiple approaches are healthy and good."
Hirji emphasized that Coinbase Ventures is searching for founders, not the next money-making cryptocurrency.