Crypto Venture Firm Variant Doubles Down on Web3 as it Raises $450M For Two New Funds

Variant has launched two new funds to support Web3 startups.
Image source: Variant

Quick take:

  • The funds consist of a $150 million seed fund and a $300 million opportunity fund.
  • The firm has doubled its team to about 15 professionals to support investment efforts.
  • Variant has also built out its portfolio support function to offer guidance on go-to-market, token design and more.

Crypto venture firm, Variant, today announced that it has raised $450 million to invest in builders of Web3. The capital includes a $150M seed fund and a $300M opportunity fund to double down on projects with demonstrated traction from its portfolio and beyond.

The fundraise was led by general partners Li Jin, a16z alumni Jesse Walden, and Spencer Noon. Last October, the firm launched a $110 million fund along with a merger with Atelier Ventures. Following the merger, Variant brought on Atelier’s founder, Li Jin, as a partner investor.

Variant’s portfolio spans across various Web3 functions including NFT platforms like Magic Eden and Zora, blogging platform Mirror, decentralized exchange Uniswap, and Aptos. The two new funds will continue to reflect Variant’s history of investments in user-owned networks.

The firm will be investing in DeFi, blockchain layers, the new frontier of Web3, and user experiences defined by new forms of ownership. 

Its areas of interest include protocols addressing the financialization and productivity of NFTs; L1s, L2s, and L3s; cross-chain interoperability that enables apps with native omni-chain product experiences; Web3 social networks that combine unique social and economic incentives; and new token economic models that coordinate user behaviours, such as X-to-earn and resource marketplaces.

“Tokens and NFTs enable net-new user experiences that satisfy diverse motivations and ‘jobs-to-be done’, from control to belonging, to financial alignment with the products you use everyday. Ownership is a design space for new product features and experiences,” the firm explained. 

As trading volumes and prices across crypto and NFT have plummeted amidst the bear market, venture firms have been accelerating their efforts in launching new funds. Just this week, BAI Capital, Audacity, and Interplay have all launched funds to invest in blockchain, Web3, metaverse, and GameFi

Despite the deluge of funding news each week, The Block Research found that venture funding in the blockchain sector declined roughly 22% in Q2 this year, from $12.5 billion the previous quarter to $9.8 billion.

Variant said it was “designed for this moment in crypto” and has stayed small so that it could “guide founders through the most important questions they face early on in their journey.” 

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