BitMEX, a Hong Kong-headquartered cryptocurrency trading platform, is launching a new venture capital (VC) arm called BitMEX Ventures. In doing so, BitMEX joins a group of crypto exchanges, including Coinbase and Binance, that have already set up their own VC units.
The new VC firm will be led by Kumar Dandapani, global head of BitMEX Ventures. Dandapani had joined the exchange this year. Maxim Wheatley will also join Dandapani to work in the new unit. Wheatley, who on-boarded BitMEX in September, will look after “global seed-stage investment and partnership activities” for BitMEX Ventures.
The exchange has already invested in one of its portfolio companies – Blockfolio, a cryptocurrency portfolio tracking app. Blockfolio announced the closing of a series A funding round last month, in which it named BitMEX as an investor.
The world’s largest cryptocurrency derivative exchange is late to the party, since other platforms have already forayed into this space. Coinbase introduced a venture capital fund in April to help early-stage startups of the crypto world. The company also said that it will invest in companies that might grow to become its potential competitors. While Coinbase has said that it wouldn’t invest in crypto assets, the VC arms of other crypto exchanges such as Binance have shown positive reception to investing in crypto assets as well.
Binance, following the footsteps of Coinbase, led the investment round for Signal founder’s crypto Mobilecoin in April after Coinbase announced its VC fund. After Binance stepped into the VC investment field, Huobi decided to launch an investment fund to back blockchain startups in China and South Korea. Major firms investing in blockchain and crypto startups will help crypto companies with innovative ideas set up its businesses faster, in turn helping increase the adoption of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in the world.