– Laser Digital is the crypto subsidiary of Nomura, a Japanese financial services giant.
– They have appointed Florent Jouanneau as a new partner in their venture capital business.
– Despite shrinking industry-wide funding levels, Laser plans to grow its venture capital arm.
– Jouanneau came from White Star Capital, a VC firm investing in web3 and DeFi startups.
– Laser Digital currently has about 65 employees and also offers asset management and trading services.
– VC investments in web3, including Bitcoin, have declined significantly in the first quarter of this year.
– Laser believes it is the perfect time to invest as valuations are being dragged down by the lack of capital.
– Traditional financial institutions, like BlackRock, are showing interest in spot Bitcoin ETFs, indicating potential industry maturity.
– Laser’s Nomura backing has helped gain trust among investors.
– Laser has now started raising third-party capital and has invested in startups focused on DeFi, CeFi, and web3 infrastructure.
– They prioritize projects focusing on institutional use cases and are selective in assessing opportunities.
– Their portfolio includes companies like DeFi protocol Infinity Exchange and crypto trading firm CrossX.
– The team aims to make another 10 investments this year in addition to the deals they have completed so far.
– Laser stays away from projects focused on gaming and NFTs as they are not knowledgeable enough in that space.
Nomura’s crypto subsidiary Laser Digital has appointed Florent Jouanneau as a new partner in its venture capital business. Despite shrinking industry-wide funding levels, Laser Digital plans to grow its venture capital arm. The company currently has about 65 employees and also runs asset management and trading services.
Jouanneau, a veteran in the industry, joined Laser Digital from White Star Capital, a VC firm investing in web3 and DeFi startups. He has previously worked at Bank of America, UBS, and BPCE Group’s Natixis.
The appointment of Jouanneau comes at a time when VC investments in web3 are on the decline. According to data from K33 Research, web3 venture funding dropped by 80% in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year.
Jouanneau believes that now is a good time to invest in the crypto market as valuations are being dragged down by a lack of capital, presenting a good risk-reward perspective for VC investments.
Laser Digital’s general partner, Olivier Dang, is hopeful that the crypto industry can mature with the increasing interest from traditional financial institutions. He believes that more institutions entering the space will increase the quality of deal flow and transactions on the venture side.
With backing from Nomura, Laser Digital has gained trust among investors. The company has now started to raise third-party capital and has invested in early-stage startups focusing on DeFi, CeFi, web3 tooling, and infrastructure.
Laser Digital aims to make another 10 investments in addition to the dozen or so deals it has completed so far this year. The company is highly selective, prioritizing projects that focus on institutional use cases and staying away from projects focused on gaming and NFTs.
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