Crypto venture capital firm Castle Island Ventures today announced a new $250 million fund. The firm said the new fund, named Castle Island Ventures III, would invest in new blockchain startups and Web3 projects.
The firm will focus particularly on three “themes” to fund with the cash, according to a Wednesday blog post: monetary networks, financial services, and internet architecture.
Castle Island said it envisioned a “more programmable and transparent, less politicized, exclusionary, and intermediated” financial system and would back entrepreneurs building projects that are “restoring the internet to the distributed ambitions”—referring to Web3.
“The new fund will support our mission to partner with visionary entrepreneurs building transformative companies powered by public blockchains,” the firm said. “We believe that public blockchains represent a paradigm shift in the way we interact with money, financial services, and the internet itself.”
Web3 refers to a new, decentralized internet. It is currently in development, but one can already access Web3 apps—which are being built on various blockchain networks, such as Ethereum, , , and even Bitcoin.
The idea with Web3 is that companies that provide popular apps—like Facebook and Google—no longer hold monopolies over the internet and users are fully in control of their data.
Castle Island added that “the pendulum is swinging back towards giving individuals rights, ownership, and freedom online.”
And there is certainly interest in decentralized financial (DeFi) services and Web3 products. DeFi refers to apps that automate borrowing and lending and use blockchain networks. They have exploded in popularity: right now, according to DeFi Llama, there is over $208 billion, locked-in to DeFi products across all networks.
Castle Island said the growth of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, and stablecoins, were part of the transition “towards a rules-based monetary order.”
“Composable and decentralized internet topologies will prove commercially superior to highly centralized models and they will enable new business models to emerge,” today's post added.
Castle Island Ventures was set-up four years ago and has invested in companies like Bitwise, Coin Metrics, and River Financial.