KKR dives into Avalanche blockchain to tokenize and ‘democratize’ financial services

As institutions continue to dip their toes into the world of digital assets, KKR & Co. is the latest to enter the space by tokenizing a part of one of its private equity funds — a step that may provide institutional private market strategies to more individual investors.

“We’re big believers in blockchain technology and the role it’ll play in shaping future private markets,” Dan Parant, managing director and co-head of U.S. private wealth at KKR, said to TechCrunch.

KKR is one of the biggest investment management firms in the U.S., with $491 billion in assets under management as of June 30.

The fund, KKR’s Health Care Strategic Growth Fund II (HCSG II), which provides exposure to the investment firm’s health care growth equity investing strategy, will be tokenized on the layer-1 blockchain Avalanche by digital asset securities firm Securitize.

This fund has been a process four years in the making, according to both Parant and Carlos Domingo, the founder and CEO of Securitize.

“I met Dan in 2018,” Domingo told TechCrunch. “Using blockchain and tokenization as a way to democratize financial services has been in our mission since the beginning even before Avalanche existed. We shared that vision.”

But in 2018, there was no way for this to happen, Domingo said. “In the past four years we have collectively built the infrastructure to get to the point where KKR could take a step forward to doing this.”