BitMEX, the world’s largest Bitcoin derivatives exchange, is launching their own VC division, according to The Block. Led by Kumar Dandapani, a former partner at the quant research firm Nth-Degree Analytics, BitMEX joins Huobi, Coinbase, and Binance in the group of exchanges diving into VC. BitMEX has not officially announced its new endeavour and it is yet to be confirmed.
BitMEX and VC
Although the rumours are unconfirmed, BitMEX has previously diversified into venture capital. Last month, CryptoGlobe reported that BitMEX was an investor in Blockfolio, the cryptocurrency portfolio tracking app. In their recently completed Series A financing round, Blockfolio raised $11.5M, receiving investment from BitMEX, Huobi, and other prominent cryptocurrency funds.
One member of BitMEX Ventures is Maxim Wheatly. His LinkedIn profile records that Wheatley has been working at BitMEX since September, as head of venture development. His role is to lead “global seed-stage investment and partnership activities," a title which would suggest increasing VC interest from BitMEX.
Other Exchanges and VC
BitMEX is not the first cryptocurrency exchange to diversify into venture capital, and it’s no surprise that the Seychelles-based exchange giant is joining the VC space. Previously, the United State’s favorite exchange, Coinbase, launched Coinbase Ventures, a VC group that has so far invested in more than 20 cryptocurrency companies.
Huobi has also joined the venture capital scene. Earlier this year, it was announced that they would be launching a $1 billion fund for Chinese blockchain companies. Called Huobi Labs, this fund would not only be a VC firm, but also an incubator, helping expand China’s influence throughout the cryptocurrency industry.
Finally, exchange giant Binance has created Binance Labs, a cryptocurrency incubator that will give startups $500,000 in exchange for a 10% equity share. Binance is also one of the only exchanges to complete a public acquisition, when in July it purchased Trust Wallet, a mobile Ethereum wallet and dApp browser.