16 July, 2018
According to a report last week, Prague-headquartered investment bank Benson Oak has received a total of $25 million in investment pledges for its newest fund, Benson Oak Ventures. The fund will focus on helping Israeli startups—especially those that utilize blockchain technology—get off the ground. Benson Oak plans to raise $100 million for the fund by the end of 2018.
The capital is coming from private investors, family offices, and strategic companies worldwide. The bank said that it is focused on seed-stage blockchain and consumer-facing startups and will soon release the names of two portfolio companies it is working with.
Specifically, the fund is looking to invest in platforms that have “a business strategy, a product, and a community,” said managing partner Robert Cohen. He added that one example of such a platform would be Israel-based online gig marketplace Fiverr.
By working with startups that use blockchain, Benson Oak Ventures hopes to promote platforms that boost community growth and shine a light on the technology on a consumer level. These blockchain-focused startups will then be able to compete on a larger scale, with the capital to recruit key employees and pursue further innovation.
There are other investment banks around the world that are recognizing the potential of blockchain as well. As we reported last month, venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz launched a16z crypto, a $300 million fund solely dedicated to investment in crypto and blockchain projects.
While helping smaller startups in general is something to appreciate, focusing on those that work with blockchain technology and cryptocurrency will certainly put more of them on the map and promote innovation in the field.