SparkLabs Group, a network of accelerators and venture capital funds, has launched a new $100 million early-stage fund, SparkChain Capital, focused on innovations in blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Joyce Kim, founder and former Executive Director at Stellar.org and venture capitalist at Freestyle Capital, will be leading this effort.
The fund will focus on blockchain and cryptocurrency startups with a small targeted holding of actual cryptocurrencies, which the fund will not actively trade.
SparkChain Capital is also planning for an ICO later this year.
South Korea-based SparkLabs will look to capitalize on its extensive network in Asia with most active blockchain and cryptocurrency markets outside of the U.S. are in China, Japan, and South Korea. Through its accelerator in Seoul, SparkLabs already has investments in Blocko, the leading enterprise blockchain company in South Korea, plus Sentbe, the leading bitcoin remittance company in South Korea (2015).
Through SparkLabs Global (global seed fund), the team invested in Cryex, an early blockchain compatible FX trading, clearing, and settlement system based in Stockholm (2014), and other related startups.
“What attracted me to working with the SparkLabs team is their passion to help the next generation of entrepreneurs across the globe. I’m looking forward to helping out entrepreneurs looking to truly change the world through blockchain technologies.”
Joyce Kim will be working with Net Jacobsson, Co-founder of SparkLabs Global and former Director of International Business Development at Facebook; William Chu, former Executive Director at Zheng He Capital where he led their $500 million Series A round into Lufax; Jay McCarthy, Co-founder of SparkLabs Global and Managing Partner at Pacific Advisers where he advised on deals such as an institutional investor’s $175 million investment into JD.com.
“We are very excited to have Joyce onboard to lead our new fund. Her deep experience and early exposure to blockchain and cryptocurrency will be crucial in sourcing the best companies and navigating this dynamic market. With the rapid pace of innovation moving in this space, it is crucial to have the most experienced advisors involved from the early outset. At SparkChain Capital, we have prepared ourselves by carefully recruiting some of the best securities advisors and fund attorneys to make sure that we always will be SEC compliant no matter how the wind blows. The same is true for the biggest cryptocurrency markets outside the U.S., such as South Korea, Japan, and China.”