$100M+ Blockchain, DeFi, NFT Fund Launched by Global Blockchain Firm Huobi Group

Huobi Group, a global blockchain firm, revealed on Thursday (May 13, 2021) that it has introduced Huobi Ventures, which is a “wholly-owned” subsidiary focused on expanding Huobi’s venture investment portfolio.

Huobi Ventures will also be supporting “innovative” blockchain or distributed ledger tech (DLT) initiatives via “long-term” investment strategies. This new venture division will reportedly deploy $100 million into early-stage blockchain and decentralized finance (DeFi) initiatives over a 3-year timeframe. It will also be making “strategic” acquisitions in order to diversify and expand Huobi’s offerings, while also setting up a “dedicated” $10 million non-fungible token (NFT) fund.

Led by Huobi Group Chief Financial Officer Lily Zhang, Huobi Ventures will aim to bring together or consolidate existing investment initiatives such as Huobi Eco Fund, Huobi Capital, and Huobi DeFi Labs.

These initiatives will be consolidated into a single entity that will aim to support Huobi’s investment strategy.

As mentioned in a release shared with CI:

“To date, Huobi has invested $69.42 million dollars across hundreds of projects in blockchain, media, public blockchains, stablecoins, and more. The return and balance on hand have reached approximately $215 million.”

A few notable past investments include Ampleforth (AMPL), the world’s first “rebasing” currency, which is “ideal for use in the smart contracts of DeFi protocols”; Terra, a programmable money for the internet that “makes spending more seamless, which also recently passed the $2 billion market cap”; Oasis Network, a privacy-enabled blockchain platform for “open finance” and a “responsible” data economy; and Optimism, a startup which recently “soft-launched its solution to Ethereum’s transaction problem, the Optimistic Virtual Machine (OVM).”

The release further noted that the launch of Huobi Ventures aims to build on this steady “momentum” and expands Huobi’s investment focus to include corporate mergers & acquisitions (M&As) and venture capital.

Under the M&A division, Huobi Ventures will identify “strategic” opportunities across different blockchain or DLT verticals in order to complement and expand its product offerings.

As explained in the announcement, acquisitions will be “integrated” into Huobi’s extensive suite of blockchain-powered apps and services to “expand the business into new markets.”

The venture capital division will “make long-term investments in emerging blockchain use cases and DeFi projects,” the release confirmed.

Zhang remarked:

“While we’ve made significant progress in our investments already, the formation of Huobi Ventures is a more concerted effort to accelerate our growth at a pivotal point for Huobi. We have had separate teams focus on different investment strategies, but by bringing everyone together under a single entity, we can create a more cohesive strategy and continue to invest in and support the most innovative projects that are shaping the blockchain and DeFi spaces.”

Huobi Ventures is also forming a dedicated $10 million NFT fund. As the NFT space “continues to grow with the rise of platforms like NBA Top Shot, Rarible, and OpenSea, the new NFT fund will invest in both NFT collectibles and emerging NFT projects such as marketplaces, mining, and crypto gamification,” the announcement noted.

Zhang also mentioned:

“NFTs are the future of art and collectibles, but they’re also giving creators like musicians and artists a new way to engage with fans and introducing blockchain to the mainstream audience. While NFTs have already become a growing part of the internet culture, what we see in the market today is only a fraction of what’s actually possible with NFTs. As an immutable way to prove authenticity and ownership of digital files, we’ll see use cases increase across gaming, media, enterprise, and more in the near future.”

Huobi Group has “expanded into public blockchains, digital assets trading, wallets, mining pools, proprietary investments, incubation, digital asset research, and more,” the release noted while adding that the Group has established “a global digital economy industry ecosystem by investing in over 60 upstream and downstream companies in the blockchain industry.”

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