Electric Capital closes $1 billion in funds to back crypto startups, buy tokens

The fervor surrounding opportunities in the crypto space has seemed to upend the venture world over the past couple of years, with major players shaking up how their firms are fundamentally organized in order to compete with so-called crypto-native investment firms.

While a plethora of breakout web3 funds popped up in the past several months, a smaller class of crypto VC firms working on their second or third dedicated fund are increasingly ready to cash in on being early to the ecosystem by raising mega funds designed to milk every rising opportunity in the web3 world.

Electric Capital announced Tuesday that it closed $1 billion for a pair of crypto funds — a $400 million vehicle for making equity investments in startups and a $600 million fund intended to invest directly in crypto tokens. This capital raise pushes the Palo Alto-based fund toward the company of larger firms like Andreessen Horowitz, which closed a $2.2 billion crypto fund this past June, and crypto VC Paradigm, which debuted a $2.5 billion fund in November.

The dueling funds follow a $110 million vehicle that the firm announced in August 2020.

Electric co-founder Avichal Garg says the early-stage firm has generally made investments of $1 million to $5 million in pre-seed to Series A-stage startups. “At that kind of check size on the equity, you have to size your fund appropriately, otherwise you’re going to end up doing so many investments and each individual investment is non-meaningful to the fund return,” he tells TechCrunch.

Garg and co-founder Curtis Spencer plan to make bets across the broader crypto ecosystem with a particular near-term focus on startups enabling DAOs and infrastructure for NFTs. Some of Electric’s investments include the decentralized exchange DYDX, crypto index fund Bitwise, the NEAR blockchain and DAO tooling startup Syndicate Protocol.