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Stronghold launches $100M enterprise arm to put money into underrepresented founders and fintech – TechCrunch


Funds infrastructure firm Stronghold has launched a enterprise capital arm to deploy $100 million of its steadiness sheet capital in startups and funds in three core methods — underrepresented founders, fintech, and web3, CEO Tammy Camp instructed TechCrunch in an interview.

Stronghold gives a set of fintech and blockchain APIs and companies, together with embedded funds, clearing and settlement, in accordance with its web site. The startup, based in 2017, partnered with IBM to create a blockchain-based stablecoin for immediate fee processing. It has raised $3.3 million in funding up to now by its 2018 seed spherical, which was led by Freestyle Capital’s Dave Samuel and featured participation from a number of angel traders in enterprise and fintech.

The brand new VC arm, referred to as Stronghold Capital, has already invested in firms together with Sam Bankman-Fried’s Alameda Analysis and funds together with Precursor Ventures and Backstage Capital, each of which have a monitor document of backing underrepresented founders. Stronghold Capital made the funding in Alameda Analysis by a syndicated DeFi (decentralized finance) mortgage on the blockchain-based institutional funding platform Maple Finance, in accordance with the corporate.

The fund seeks to put money into firms that may present “bidirectional worth” with Stronghold’s strains of enterprise, Camp mentioned. She added that by investing in fund managers instantly, Stronghold could have entry to a sourcing pipeline for firms it could need to again, too.

75 p.c of Stronghold Capital’s present investments are in underrepresented or missed founders, Camp mentioned. The enterprise fund plans to construct out its staff this 12 months and intends to rent traders who’re specialists in every of the three particular areas of focus, she added.

Stronghold launched its personal token referred to as SHx in 2018, which is now listed on crypto exchanges together with KuCoin and has a market cap of over $1.5 billion, the corporate says. Companies utilizing Stronghold’s fee rails are rewarded with KuCoin, which they’ll use to offset their charges. They will additionally use the token to make DeFi loans to different companies and handle inside governance processes, in accordance with Camp.

The token’s traction amongst companies drove development at Stronghold in 2021 — the corporate says enterprise grew “fivefold throughout most measures” final 12 months. Camp mentioned this traction served as a catalyst for the fund launch, an initiative Stronghold execs had been contemplating for a very long time.

“I feel that funds and monetary companies are an enormous house and it’s going to take quite a lot of gamers to have the ability to fulfill their mission as a result of there are such a lot of fee rails today,” Camp mentioned. “Having the ability to companion with different firms or fund managers to satisfy that imaginative and prescient is one thing that we’re tremendous enthusiastic about.”

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