Morgan Creek $40M Blockchain Fund Gets First US Public Pension Backing

Blockchain, Investing, News | February 13, 2019 By:

Digital asset firm Morgan Creek Digital has successfully raised $40 million from investors that include two public pension funds. It’s believed to be the first US backing by defined benefits organizations.

The two pension funds – the Fairfax County Police and Fairfax County Employee’s Pension plans – collectively manage $5.1 billion in assets. Other investors include an insurance company, a university endowment and a private foundation.

Morgan Creek Digital founder Anthony Pompliano said that the funds will be used to develop the Morgan Creek Blockchain Opportunities Fund, which in addition to backing some of the best-known startups in the blockchain space, plans to invest in digital currencies. He added that the firm originally wanted to raise $25 million, but due to investor interest its cap almost doubled to $40 million.

“We set out to raise a fund filled with institutional investors,” Pompliano said. “It was obvious this would be an uphill battle. It took hundreds of hours of educating folks on why this was important and worth doing.”

Forbes reported that the fund has already invested a portion of the $40 million in blockchain startups including Bakkt, the cryptocurrency exchange co-owned by Starbucks and the Intercontinental Exchange. It will also invest in crypto exchange Coinbase and several lesser-known startups, including Blockfi, RealBlocks, TrustToken, Harbor, Open Finance Network, CityBlock Capital, Namebase, Good Money and Digital Assets Data. As much as $4 million could be used to directly purchase cryptocurrencies.

“Blockchain technology is being applied in unique and compelling ways across multiple industries,” said Katherine Molnar, chief investment officer of Fairfax County’s police officer’s retirement system. “We feel it is important to be opportunistic and are excited to participate in this emerging opportunity.”