Konstellation is proud to announce the first investment into the first project to be nurtured by its recently launched Konstellation Venture Studio. The only institutional investor in blockchain unicorn BitMEX, SOSV, will invest alongside Konstellation Korea Ltd. in the seed round for next-level bitcoin products maker VegaX, the world’s first comprehensive cryptocurrency platform to provide enhanced data feeds and tokenized asset management products using volatility as an asset.
SOSV will place VegaX in Batch 17 of Chinaccelerator, the first startup accelerator ever to launch in China. The program begins in February 2020. An accelerator typically brings together companies with a structured team into cohorts for a fixed amount of time in a shared space. Accelerators invest in startups with the primary goal of rapidly scaling their growth by leveraging a network of mentors and program alumni. The positive impact of the accelerator model is that it helps with hiring, legal, partnerships, user acquisition, strategy refinement, marketing, and branding. Their ownership stake incentivizes the accelerator to help their cohort companies grow quickly.
Launched in 2010, Chinaccelerator is one of seven seed accelerator programs that are part of SOSV, which calls itself “The Accelerator VC.” SOSV accelerators are some of the most selective in the world. Their acceptance rate is less than 5%. Sean O’Sullivan founded the venture after his maptech company, MapInfo Corporation, went public in 1994. SOSV has been incubating premium entrepreneurial ventures ever since.
SOSV’s success is due to its ability to spin up and support numerous groundbreaking accelerators at the same time. It supports and administers the hardware-focused HAX, IndieBio for life sciences startups, Food-X for food innovation, MOX for mobile startups and more. These accelerators are located all across the world. SOSV is a cross-stage venture capital fund that currently operates with over $400M assets under management (AUM), based out of San Francisco. They are the 4th most active early-stage investor in the world according to Techcrunch.
That AUM number was before SOSV’s recent announcement that it has closed its fourth fund, SOSV IV, oversubscribed at a record $277 million.
Based in Shanghai, Chinaccelerator’s team is composed of experts in innovation, equity research, venture capital, and entrepreneurship such as Managing Director William Bao Bean and Program Director Oscar Ramos among other notable advisors. Chinaccelerator (CA) has two purposes: 1) to help foreign companies understand the Chinese market and 2) to help Chinese companies grow globally.
The Shanghai CA program welcomes two batches of 10 to 15 startups per year, both international and Chinese, to develop their activity for 6 months. Startups that are awarded this opportunity move to Shanghai where they optimize their product for market fit, develop local growth strategies, and close the program with a focus on packaging progress to investors. Each cycle then culminates in a Demo Day, where startups present their companies to a carefully curated audience. The best companies typically receive follow-on investment rounds thanks to the highly connected nature of SOSV, their stellar reputation for identifying successful early-stage projects, and its relationships with other top investment firms. Lastly, SOSV boasts the expertise of more than 300 mentors, such as seasoned American entrepreneur in China Richard Robinson and Alan Lan, Greater China Regional Director at Twitter. Moreover, SOSV has developed partnerships with several venture funds and international corporations such as Google Shanghai and Amazon Web Services.
CA’s investment thesis does not emphasize specific industries since their investments are directed toward Deep Tech (Blockchain & Ai), software-as-a-service (SaaS), entertainment, edtech, and other cutting-edge sectors. Since 2009, they have invested in 122 startups. Prominent alumni include SnapAsk, BitHolla, Property Passbook, Portfolio.io, and CAPSL. You can browse their entire portfolio here.
Of all those investments, leading bitcoin exchange operator BitMEX is by far the most impressive. When Arthur Hayes and his team joined CA’s Batch 8 in 2015, the exchange had already been in operation for 9 months. But they were heavily focused on enterprise. CA helped them pivot to a more retail-oriented platform and, ever since, they have “kicked butt” according to Chinaccelerator’s Facebook page. The impressive metrics BitMEX is realizing makes it perhaps the best SOSV investment in all their decades of experience. With an all-time high daily volume of $16 billion and a current valuation between $1 billion and $3.6 billion, BitMEX keeps getting bigger.
The Konstellation Venture Studio was created precisely for opportunities like VegaX – to co-create and co-invest with some of the greatest minds in the industry. By placing this kind of firepower within the Konstellation ecosystem, Konstellation Korea is building the Konstellation Network to be the backbone upon which emerging fintech institutions can interact with each other in a tokenized infrastructure environment to exchange value in a secure and transparent way. In the future, the best ideas that intersect the financial services industry and blockchain technology can be built on Konstellation.
VegaX will now take its place alongside BitMEX in the SOSV investment portfolio, with the hopes that it can also reach blockchain unicorn status in short order. With its unique business model aiming to become a combination of indexed investment products powerhouse Vanguard and largest options exchange and volatility index provider CBOE, VegaX has a bright future.
To sign up to be the first to know more about VegaX, please visit VegaXholdings.com.
Konstellation is building a robust blockchain ecosystem to support the global financial services industry. Its native utility token, DARC, will power the Konstellation Network, a hybrid public/private blockchain which will allow for (i) blockchain-agnostic creation of digital assets, (ii) the seamless and global blockchain-enabled trusted interaction between critical counterparties and (iii) transparent, secure and, most importantly, compliant interactions with participating financial institutions. Konstellation is the source for financial institutions that want to prepare for the inevitable future in which all types of assets will exist and be recorded on the blockchain. Learn more about us on our website. To keep up with Konstellation please follow us on: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Telegram (Official), Telegram (Announcements), Reddit, Medium, Discord, and Kakao.