Oct 9, 2023 16:21 UTC
Oct 9, 2023 at 21:50 UTC
In a bold move amidst a challenging market environment, Hong Kong-based venture capital firm CMCC Global has successfully raised $100 million to fortify Asian blockchain startups through its Titan Fund. This initiative comes at a time when the global venture capital investments in crypto firms have witnessed a sharp decline of 70.9% year-on-year, and the number of deals has plummeted by 54.5%, according to data from PitchBook.
A Beacon of Support for Startups
Titan Fund, which closed its inaugural funding round on October 4, has garnered participation from a diverse group of 30 investors, including notable entities such as Block.one, Pacific Century Group led by Hong Kong tycoon Richard Li, Winklevoss Capital, Jebsen Capital, and Animoca Brands founder Yat Siu. The fund will strategically channel investments into three pivotal areas: blockchain infrastructure, consumer applications (emphasizing gaming and non-fungible tokens – NFTs), and financial services, which encompasses exchanges, wallets, and lending and borrowing platforms.
Fostering Innovation in Hong Kong
Despite not having a stringent mandate regarding capital allocation to Hong Kong companies, Titan Fund aims to invest in “the best entrepreneurs globally,” according to Baumann from CMCC Global. The firm, established in 2016, harbors a “natural attachment” to Hong Kong, recognizing its substantial potential in fintech innovation. Baumann expressed optimism about the city’s future in the Web3 space, stating, “If Hong Kong continues on its route of embracing Web3, there will naturally be more and more entrepreneurs starting companies in that space. And we can be their first capital.”
Navigating Through Market Slumps and Regulatory Shifts
The launch of the fund is particularly noteworthy given the current market slump and previous incidents like the FTX exchange bankruptcy. However, the Titan Fund has already made five investment rounds, two of which were directed towards Hong Kong-based startups: Mocaverse, an NFT project by Animoca Brands that raised $20 million in September, and Terminal 3, a Web3 data infrastructure startup.
Hong Kong, once a birthplace for numerous crypto firms, has experienced a business exodus in recent years due to regulatory uncertainties for digital assets and stringent pandemic restrictions. However, a significant policy shift in October last year, which allowed licensed crypto exchanges to cater to retail traders, signaled the city’s renewed embrace of the industry. Despite setbacks like the implosion of the JPEX exchange, which dented retail investors’ confidence, crypto firms in the city remain optimistic about long-term prospects.
A Safe Harbor for Crypto in Asia
The launch of the crypto VC fund in Hong Kong also underscores the city’s burgeoning prominence as a secure crypto harbor, especially in light of regulatory crackdowns in the United States. Yen Shiau Sin, Titan Fund’s managing director, highlighted that Asian firms are reaping benefits as “projects are thinking of coming here talking to us” due to the U.S. crypto crackdown.
In conclusion, CMCC Global’s Titan Fund emerges as a beacon of support for blockchain startups in Asia, particularly in Hong Kong, by providing crucial financial backing amidst a challenging market and regulatory environment. The fund’s focus on blockchain infrastructure, consumer applications, and financial services is poised to nurture and elevate innovative projects in the blockchain and crypto space, thereby contributing to the sector’s resilience and future growth.