Aglaé Ventures, the venture capital business founded by LVMH chairman and CEO Bernard Arnault, plans to start a crypto fund.
Three people with knowledge of the situation corroborated Aglaé’s intention. The fund’s exact launch date is unknown, but two of those persons stated it will be worth between €100 million ($102 million) and €110 million.
The announcement comes at a critical time for cryptocurrency entrepreneurs seeking venture capital. According to Research, global venture capital investment in crypto businesses plummeted 22 percent in the second quarter compared to the previous three months. However, Europe defied the trend, with fundraising by crypto firms in the region increasing by 25% over the same period.
Aglaé, based in Paris, has already invested in tech behemoths such as Airbnb, Netflix, Slack, and Spotify. It recently co-led a $30 million round for crypto market maker Flowdesk, its first entry into crypto. According to a person familiar with the subject, this investment was not made through the planned crypto fund, which has yet to make an investment public.
Aglaé recently appointed former CoinFund executive Vanessa Grellet and ex-Aave chief operations officer Jordan Lazaro Gustave to manage its crypto investments. It will target centralized and decentralized startups, web3 infrastructure, Layer 1 and Layer 2 scalability experts, and the creator economy.
“It’s been a very successful VC in web2, but they were seeing a lot of things coming in web3 and wanted to hire someone who is a specialist to manage that portion of their investments,” Grellet said.
The establishment of a specialized crypto fund follows similar efforts made by European venture capital rivals in the previous year. Blossom Capital, based in London, dedicated a third of its $432 million fund to crypto businesses with an emphasis on token-based investments in January. Cherry Ventures, based in Berlin, announced a $34 million fund to invest in crypto companies in February.
Venture capitalists in the United States are pouring much more money into dedicated crypto funds. Sequoia Capital created its first crypto fund earlier this year, with $500 million to target tokens. During the current market downturn, Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) unveiled a large $4.5 billion fund for blockchain firms in May.