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

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

Stronghold presents a set of fintech and blockchain APIs and providers, together with embedded funds, clearing and settlement, in keeping with its web site. The startup, based in 2017, partnered with IBM to create a blockchain-based stablecoin for fast fee processing. It has raised $3.3 million in funding so far by its 2018 seed spherical, which was led by Freestyle Capital’s Dave Samuel and featured participation from a bunch of angel buyers 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 observe file 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 keeping with the corporate.

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

75 p.c of Stronghold Capital’s present investments are in underrepresented or neglected founders, Camp stated. The enterprise fund plans to construct out its crew this yr and intends to rent buyers who’re consultants 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 keeping with Camp.

The token’s traction amongst companies drove development at Stronghold in 2021 — the corporate says enterprise grew “fivefold throughout most measures” final yr. Camp stated 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 providers are an enormous area and it’s going to take numerous gamers to have the ability to fulfill their mission as a result of there are such a lot of fee rails nowadays,” Camp stated. “With the ability to accomplice with different firms or fund managers to meet that imaginative and prescient is one thing that we’re tremendous enthusiastic about.”

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