Crypto Asset Firm CoinFund Partners With Rockefeller’s VC Arm

Announcements, Investing, News | April 9, 2018 By:

Venrock, a Rockefeller family owned venture capital fund, has teamed with crypto asset investment fund CoinFund to support cryptocurrency and blockchain business innovation.

Venrock, a compound of “Venture” and “Rockefeller,” was formed in 1969 to build upon the successful investing activities of the Rockefeller family that began in the late 1930s. Venrock has a history of helping entrepreneurs build products and technologies, including early investments in major companies such as Intel, Apple, Dollar Shave Club, and Nest.

The Rockefeller family is an American industrial, political, and banking family that owns one of the world’s largest fortunes. The fortune was initially made in the US petroleum industry during the late 19th and early 20th centuries by John D. Rockefeller and his brother William Rockefeller, primarily through Standard Oil. The family is also known for its long association with, and control of, Chase Manhattan Bank.

Coinfund is an investor group exclusively geared toward cryptocurrency startups. It has recently added token-based financial services platform Coinlist, a spinoff of startup connection website AngelList, to the number of projects that it backs. One of CoinFund’s most prominent clients is chat messenger app Kik, which raised almost $100 million in its initial coin offering (ICO) last year.

The two companies met through their mutual investment in YouNow, a live broadcasting service where users stream their own live video content or interact with the video streams of other users in real time. They have worked together to help YouNow founder Adi Sideman realize his vision of a blockchain ecosystem of participatory video applications, starting with its flagship application Rize.

CoinFund said the partnership reinforces the mandate for the company to continue building out a technology-focused and scientific approach to investment in decentralized networks and new business models enabled by blockchain technology. The two companies will leverage each other’s domain expertise to mentor, advise, and support teams in the blockchain space.

Venrock partner David Pakman said that they wanted to partner with Coinfund because the team has been making investments and actually helping to architect a number of different crypto economies and crypto token-based projects. He also insisted that Venrock is in crypto for the long term.

“Gatekeepers tend to charge rent or toll on users,” Pakman said. “The benefit of the advent of crypto is that we have fewer gatekeepers. Venture capital itself is effectively a gatekeeper industry and I’d actually like to see that undone. I don’t believe that a small group of people should make the decisions about which projects can raise some money and get off the ground.”