As Atlanta retains and grows its status as a fintech hub, some local investors are looking toward what many say is the next frontier of fintech: blockchain technology.
Today, blockchain-focused venture capital firm Algo Capital announced the closing of its first fund at $200 million, double the firm’s original goal of $100 million.
Rather than taking a wide approach, the fund will invest in startups building on top of one specific blockchain called Algorand.
The Algorand blockchain protocol, established in 2018, was founded by MIT professor and cryptography pioneer Silvio Micali to solve some of the problems that have plagued other, more well-known blockchains like bitcoin or ethereum.
Algorand raised more than $60 million in its initial token sale this summer, as well as $66 million in traditional venture capital from VC firms like Union Square Ventures and Pillar Venture Capital.
“Our investment approach specifically targets companies that are creating the next great blockchain applications and infrastructure solutions, and as a result, helping to speed blockchain adoption and bring millions of new users into the Algorand network,” said Arul Murugan, one of Algo Capital’s founders and managing partner.
Murugan is also managing partner at 11-11 Ventures, an Atlanta-based industry-agnostic venture firm that has invested in Bakkt, the digital currency startup incubated within the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).
Along with 11-11, Algo Capital’s fund has assembled a collection of LPs with deep experience in the financial and blockchain industry. These include NEO Global’s venture arm NGC Ventures, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington’s XRP Capital, Eterna Capital, Rokk3r Inc, and several others from the U.S., Latin America and Asia.
And, true to form, all investors contributed to the fund through payments in Algos, rather than traditional currency. Financial commitments to portfolio companies will also be paid in Algos.
In addition to Murugan, Algo Capital’s team consists of long-time blockchain entrepreneur and investor David Garcia and blockchain technologist Pablo Yabo.
Algo Capital already has four companies in its portfolio.
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