Coinbase to Launch Venture to Invest in Crypto Startups

Coinbase Inc. announced on Thursday that it will launch its own venture firm called Coinbase Ventures. The firm will focus on providing funding to cryptocurrency and fintech startups.

“We’ll be providing financing to promising early stage companies that have the teams and ideas that can move the space forward in a positive, meaningful way.” wrote Coinbase in a blog post.

Coinbase says the firm is to simply help companies to help flourish, meaning that the firm will not have a strategic requirement for formalizing partner relationships, but focus on building strong relationships to help bolster the development of the ecosystem.

But for the cryptocurrency side of funding, Coinbase is more interested in decentralized exchanges, which allow investors to have more control over their funds and possibly less volatility, said Bloomberg.

Coinbase’s Vice President of corporate, business development and operations, Emilie Choi said the company expects individual investments to be around $100,000 to $200,000, but has no intentions to hold a major stake.

“You may also see us invest in companies that ostensibly look competitive with Coinbase.” said Coinbase, “There may be nuance to the way these startups are building out their products. Or, in some cases, we may be comfortable investing in companies that are potentially competitive.”

Coinbase’s President and CEO, Asiff Hirji told CNBC’s “Fast Money” on Thursday that the venture is searching for founders, not the next money making cryptocurrency.

"By giving them access to capital we hope that they will grow great businesses," he said. "It's not about investing in the token, it's not about trying to line up tokens that we would put on our exchange." said Hirji.

Choi has also hinted that Coinbase may buy another cryptocurrency exchange, but Hirji said the company is not looking into adding new cryptocurrencies or acquisitions yet. He says once there is more clarify, he will begin adding more assets.

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