Venture capital firm Vessel Capital has announced a $55 million fund to invest in Web3 infrastructure and applications, TechCrunch reported. According to the founders, their goal is not to scale, but rather to assist crypto founders working on early-stage startups to launch and grow their projects.
“Crypto has become more global, so it’s not the same circle and group you might have seen in 2018-2020, and we want to be able to help more people,” Mirza Uddin, one of the co-founders, said. Aside from Vessel, Uddin is also head of business development at Injective Labs.
Other co-founders include Eric Chen, CEO of the Injective protocol, and Anthony Anzalone, co-founder of Burnt (formerly Burnt Finance), a Web3 firm building XION, a layer-1 blockchain for consumer adoption.
1/ I'm excited to announce the public launch of @VesselVC, the operator led Web3 fund for early stage startups.— Mirza (@TheMirza_) August 24, 2023
Together with @ericinjective and Anthony, our goal was to build a new venture model that actually aligns us with the success of our founders.https://t.co/3g8RnFgyTD
The fund’s resources will be deployed over a five-year period. The team's experience as founders of startups puts Vessel in a better position to understand entrepreneurs’ needs, believes Uddin. “Oftentimes, [VCs] don’t have expertise in the things they’re investing in,” he noted, adding that “the world has enough VCs, but what’s actually missing is actual guidance and advice." He continued:
“Most times you’ll get a nice check, a pretty logo on your website, but other than that VCs don’t help much aside from intros from time to time.“
Vessel’s debut comes amid a downturn in crypto venture capital (VC). According to data from the Cointelegraph Research Venture Capital Database, June saw a 29.73% decline in investment deals, with just $779.32 million raised from 62 transactions. The VC giant Sequoia Capital recently downsized its cryptocurrency fund from $585 million to $200 million, citing a liquidity crunch and a shift to smaller crypto firms.
Web3 infrastructure, however, remains a popular investment target. Earlier this week, Binance’s venture capital arm, Binance Labs, announced a strategic investment into Delphinus Lab’s zero-knowledge WebAssembly virtual machine, which supports zero-knowledge-proof computation.
“Web3 infrastructure and applications will fundamentally redefine the very fabric of a new Internet economy, leading to a far more innovative, decentralized and capital efficient society," wrote Uddin on LinkedIn.