Crypto payments company Circle has announced the launch of Circle Ventures, a venture capital fund with the primary goal of supporting early-stage crypto projects.
Jeremy Fox-Geen, the firm’s chief financial officer, said that "Circle Ventures is another way to contribute, and we're excited to support our industry's innovators and entrepreneurs and identify compelling early-stage companies, technologies, projects, and protocols to help realize our mission.”
Based in Boston, Circle operates USD Coin (USDC) the world’s second-largest stablecoin behind Tether (USDT). USDC’s current market cap is $34.6 billion, according to CoinGecko.
In May this year, the firm raised $440 million in a funding round backed by the likes of Digital Currency Group, Valor Capital, and crypto exchange FTX, among other strategic investors.
Though the firm didn’t disclose the size of the fund, it has already deployed initial capital for the new initiative.
Circle’s mission takes flight
Circle’s mission is “to raise global economic prosperity through the frictionless exchange of financial value,” Fox-Geen stated in an accompanying blog post.
“Our simple goal is to support the most interesting and exceptional people, projects, and companies that are contributing to this mission,” added Fox-Geen.
One way to accelerate the development of innovative projects will be through providing access to SeedInvest, a startup fundraising platform operated by Circle. According to the firm, SeedInvest boasts a network of more than 500,000 investors possessing “deep experience with compliant internet capital formation.”
In August, the company also announced plans to become a "national digital currency bank."
The move came amid the ongoing investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the firm’s holdings and operations, and, if completed, would place Circle under direct supervision of the Federal Reserve and various agencies run by the U.S. Treasury Department.
The firm is also planning to go public through a reverse merger with Concord Acquisition Corp., a publicly-traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), in a deal that would value Circle at $4.5 billion.