Venture Arm Trims Amid Market Doubts

Kris Marszalek, the Chief Executive Officer of, recently expressed concerns over the sustainability of the rising valuations in the cryptocurrency sector. According to Marszalek, the venture capital arm of the digital-asset exchange, Capital, is witnessing a resurgence in hefty billion-dollar valuations reminiscent of the pandemic-driven investment boom. These valuations, he suggests, appear overly optimistic.

Investment Slowdown and Strategic Caution

The venture arm, established with a fund of $500 million for startup investments as of January 2022, has seen a slowdown in its investment activities. From the beginning of 2023, Capital has made only four investments, a sharp decline from the 35 transactions recorded in the two years before. This reduction reflects a cautious approach despite the current market excitement.

Marszalek mentioned that while Capital continues to seek profitable returns, the venture is becoming more selective with its investments. Up to now, the firm has made around 70 investments, deploying significant capital, although Marszalek did not disclose the exact amount.

Recent Market Activity and LP Skepticism

Recent venture capital deals in the industry have seen significant activity. Notably, Berachain, a blockchain project led by pseudonymous founders with bear-themed avatars, secured $100 million at a valuation of over $1 billion. Similarly, Merkle Manufactory and Monad Labs, both active in the blockchain space, have achieved billion-dollar valuations.

Despite these high-profile investments, there is a sense of hesitation among limited partners (LPs) who fund these ventures. Like Marszalek, many LPs remain skeptical, opting to hold back further investments until clearer financial returns are evident. Capital itself participated in several recent fundraising efforts. It contributed to Berachain’s significant funding round and supported other ventures like Kiln and Arcade2Earn, which raised $17 million and $4.8 million, respectively. The venture arm primarily targets seed-stage and Series A funding rounds, aiming to balance enthusiasm with financial prudence in a fluctuating market.

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