Rockefeller-Backed VC Firm Reiterates Interest in Crypto Startups

Venrock Associates, a VC firm backed by the Rockefeller fortune, had confirmed its interest in cryptocurrency and blockchain startups.

Venrock Associates, a venture capital firm founded on Rockefeller family money, has reiterated its interest in cryptocurrency companies but, unlike most VC players, it is looking beyond digital tokens and wants to invest in equity, Venrock associate David Pakman told Bloomberg.

He said that his company wants to stick to a “more disciplined approach” at a time when many hedge funds choose to speculate on the price of Bitcoin and initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Venrock would have no problem with investing in some tokens, but the focus would be on startups before they conduct their token sale events, according to Pakman. Venrock’s partners have already put money into CoinFund, a venture that invests in tokens.

Pakman is very confident about the cryptocurrency market, saying:

“I think this is one of the most transformative tech ecosystems and has the possibility of creating hundreds of companies worth billions of dollars each.”

Pakman, who joined Venrock ten years ago, is one of the four-member team responsible for investments in crypto-oriented startups. He said half of his time goes into exploring crypto projects, while the rest is devoted to robotics and consumer product businesses.

Speaking about his research in crypto startups, he said: “We are evaluating scores a week. We are really active.”

When it comes to blockchain, the technology underpinning most cryptocurrencies, Pakman said Venrock is more interested in investing in the technology itself rather than in blockchain-based applications.

“I am approaching this from the very first that this is a fundamentally interesting technological innovation that enabled very serious value creation and may also be a legitimate way to build value away from internet platforms of today,” he said.

Early in April, Pakman said that Venrock had invested in the PROPS Project (a decentralized network of video apps) and had forged a strategic relationship with CoinFund.

New York-based Venrock was founded in 1969 as a VC project of the Rockefeller family, who remain involved as a limited partner. The company is known for its investments in young startups – it conducted Apple’s first investment round and also put money in Intel before anyone had even heard of it.

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