Over the past 18 months, investments in blockchain startups tackling a variety of problems have climbed. SparkChain Capital, a new $100 million early-stage fund launched by SparkLabs Group, wants to contribute by backing blockchain and cryptocurrency-related companies that are solving real-world issues.
Led by managing partner Joyce Kim, the founder and former executive director of open-source payment network Stellar, SparkChain Capital will back companies developing products and services related to blockchain and cryptocurrency instead of trading actual cryptocurrencies. The fund, which is planning to hold its own initial coin offering later this year, will mostly fund companies raising their Series A rounds, with a typical investment in each startup of about $1 million to $3 million.
A non-profit organization, Stellar was created to make money transfers more accessible for people in underserved communities by connecting financial systems around the world and recently partnered with IBM on a cross-border payment system for banks. After cofounding Stellar, Kim served as an investor at Freestyle Capital before switching to her current role as an advisor there. SparkLabs Group, a network of funds and accelerators, is known for its focus on Asia (it launched its first startup program in Seoul before expanding to cities including Beijing, Taipei and Hong Kong).
Kim will look for entrepreneurs around the world, but notes that SparkLabs’ network overlaps with the most active blockchain and cryptocurrency markets outside of the U.S.: China, Japan and South…