While FinTech investment fell sharply at the start of 2019, the introduction of IOEs and the demand for more secure banking services is still driving venture capitalists to plow money into banking and financial blockchain solutions.
But who is investing what, and where? While big investment firms like Andreessen Horowitz and 500 Startups are spreading their bets in the blockchain world, smaller venture capital firms are showing that blockchain’s near-future focus is likely to be on AI and FinTech.
With that in mind, let’s see which investment firms are backing FinTech applications of blockchain to disrupt the financial sector worldwide.
A sub-organization of the Netherland’s bank Rabobank, Rabo Frontier Ventures is a $60 million venture fund concerned with supporting projects in FinTech, agriculture, and food. Looking to help businesses scale, the company provide financial assistance and industry expertise.
The company has funded a handful of FinTech platforms to open access to versatile payment options. These include ProducePay, a payment platform for the food and beverage industry.
Robo Frontier Ventures is already advancing into blockchain, having funded we.trade, a project built by 9 banks providing a commercial blockchain for their clients and banks. The firm has also invested in GoCredible , a blockchain solution for online identification and payments.
Attached to ING Bank, ING Ventures is a $330 million fund aimed at boosting founders creating solutions for business and life. Offering a seed-stage accelerator and a growth stage funding, ING Ventures is scouting out proven technology to back.
As a bank, FinTech is a primary concern for ING Ventures. The firm’s FinTech portfolio includes Flowcast ($5M), an AI system for automating credit decisions; Twisto ($15.5M), an everyday payments app, and Fintonic ($24M), a money-saving platform for organizing accounts.
Now joining the big leagues, ING Venture recently led a successful seed-stage funding round for TradeIX, an open platform designed for smoother international exchange. IING Ventures raised $16 million for the young blockchain start-up.
A California-based seed-stage venture capital company, Draper Associates invests in emerging technologies surrounding FinTech, gaming, SaaS, cloud solutions, and IoT. Beyond raising capital, the company offers strategic advice on staffing, marketing, branding, partnerships, and so on. </p?
Quick off the block when it comes to blockchain endeavors, Draper Associates has been investing in the technology for a while. On the books they have next-gen projects such as Authentiq, an digital ID platform; and Unstoppable Domains, a blockchain domain provider.
Focusing on blockchain-based FinTech that enables access to financial instruments, Draper Associates have plowed funds into OpenNode, a faster way to make Bitcoin payments and trades; Morpher, a blockchain trading platform; and Wyre, an FX engine room for cross-border transactions.
As the name suggests, Digital Currency Group focuses on bolstering Bitcoin and blockchain projects. While the NYC-based seed investor has a diverse portfolio of blockchain ventures, FinTech is a predominant theme. Aside from providing funds and advice to founders, Digital Currency Group also own CoinDesk, the top cryptocurrency news platform; Grayscale Investments, the biggest digital asset management company; and Genesis Trading, the world’s leading BTC brokerage.
This year alone, Digital Currency Group have invested in more than 5 blockchain FinTech start-ups, including:
- CoinFLEX – a coin futures and lending exchange
- Figure – FinTech for home equity release solutions
- Staked us – technical infrastructure to enable commercial investors to join staking processes
- Digital Assets Data – a crypto assets knowledge platform
- Coinhouse – a crypto asset platform
Boost VC is a Silicon Valley-based investor. Claiming to be the number one blockchain accelerator, Boost VC offers expertise as well as funding to founders. Boost VC invests in over 20 start-ups a year, providing a 3-month acceleration program.
While not exclusively investing in FinTech, Boost VC has supported their fair share of FinTech blockchain projects since their inception in 2012. These include:
- Guesser – investment on real world events as they occur
- Coinbase – one of the world’s biggest crypto exchanges
- CleverCoin – user-friendly exchange for easier access to Bitcoin
- BitWall – Bitcoin micropayments
- Abra – peer-to-peer money transfer network
- Monero – private and secure digital cash
Arrington XRP Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm that gears all funding toward blockchain projects and associated emerging markets. Many of their investments focus on middle-layer technology, but there have been a fair few investments in FinTech, such as:
- Terra – a stablecoin created for mass adoption
- Bitfinex – one of the most popular crypto exchanges in the world
- Nexo – crypto-backed loans
- ZED Network – an API gateway to payout en mass
- Bitrefill – cryptocurrency giftcards, mobile refills, and lightning services
Another blockchain-investment firm, Dekrypt Capital looks to invest in companies that are developing core blockchain technologies and privacy solutions. Both of these developments crossover into FinTech, especially when it comes to improving security and scalability of decentralization.
Until now, Dekrypt has only invested in a couple of blockchain FinTech projects, but this is likely to increase in the future. These ventures include Nervos Network, a multi-asset, Store of Value blockchain.
Founded in 2013, Blockchain Capital does what it says on the tin. The venture capital firm provides stage-agnostic funding to blockchain-based products disrupting various industry sectors. While the company invests in all kinds of blockchain concepts, FinTech and financial services are high on Blockchain Capital’s list. Here are few blockchain FinTech companies on their books:
- Securitize – creating digital compliant securities
- Buxx – a digital payment method for businesses
- Radar – a blockchain FinTech development company
- Bolt – online checkout services
- Circle – online financial transaction network
- TRM Labs – monitor digital asset transactions for financial entities
Gearing funding toward Bitcoin, a digital currency, and blockchain ventures, Pantera Capital shifted from global macro hedge fund investment in 2014. With particular stress on money management and financial services, Pantera Capital has invested heavily in crypto Fintech solutions, including:
- Vega Protocol – a platform for creating and trading derivatives
- ErisX – a platform for spot and futures contracts
- Flexa – a digital payments network
- SparkSwap – the first exchange built on the Lightning Network
- Bakkt – a global network to buy, store, sell, and spend digital assets
Committed to developing emerging technologies, Digital Horizon has been focusing most of its recent investments into blockchain technology, especially in reference to AI, robotics, Big Data, and FinTech. Here are a couple of the blockchain financial solutions that Digital Horizon have pledged funds to:
- SFOX – a cryptocurrency prime dealer
- Blockfolio – a portfolio tracking system for your mobile
- Oxygen – a digital bank aimed at freelancers
- FCoin – a Chinese crypto exchange
FinTech Collective puts money solely into financial technology, with blockchain solutions lumped in under that umbrella. The NYC-based venture capital firm invests in seed- and early-stage ventures, and started investing early in blockchain, back in 2014. Since then, some of their blockchain FinTech investments include:
- Tradeblock – a provider of digital currency market infrastructure and analytics
- Axoni – FinTech blockchain development company
- UMA – a decentralized financial contracts platform
Parifi Capital calls itself as ‘alternative investment firm’. Based in San-Francisco, the small venture capital company invests exclusively in blockchain-related companies, mostly in the financial arena. With only 11 investments under their belt since founding the firm last year, Parifi Capital have gone in hard with financial technology investment in the blockchain space.
Having also invested in Coinbase, Bakkt, Abra, and Staked me, Parifi Capital have also backed:
Tessera Venture Partners is angled toward the blockchain and emerging technology sectors, looking for solutions in AdTech, HealthTech, and FinTech. Having just started last year, the firm has only made a couple of investments so far. Their lengthy program includes hands-on learning and acceleration as well as funding.
FinTech-wise, the firm’s blockchain investments include Figure, a home equity lending platform; and Provenance, a blockchain protocol for the financial industry.
Another small investment firm based in San Francisco, ZMT Capital also focuses on next-generation technology in finance. The company has made 5 investments in total, with the most recent two investments directed to FinTech blockchain companies.
This year, ZMT Capital has put funds into Oxygen, a freelancer blockchain bank; and BiLaxy, an international crypto asset exchange.
Unbanked Ventures is also based in San Francisco, providing a 6-week acceleration program for FinTech start-ups. Helping companies to gain traction and find funding, Unbanked Ventures hones in on start-ups looking to disrupt the financial industry.
Blockchain projects have taken up a significant chunk of Unbanked Ventures’ time and funds over the last couple of years, with projects such as: