Kiwi VC Global From Day 1 (GD1) has launched New Zealand’s first dedicated web3/crypto-focused venture capital fund.
The US$5 million ($NZ7.65m) fund, ‘GD1 Crypto Fund 1’, will be led in-house by cryptocurrency and web3 expert Nawaz Ahmed, who’s signed on as a General Partner.
It will look to invest in the next generation of web3/crypto entrepreneurs and projects globally, from pre-seed to series A, across decentralised finance (DeFi), decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs), NFTs, web3 and Crypto infrastructure, as well as tangential sectors.
Ahmed said the fund has already warehoused two deals that will see GD1 invest in companies with VC giants Andreessen Horowitz, True Ventures and Kleiner Perkins also on the cap table.
GD1 Crypto Fund 1 is set for a first close in June and is expected to be over-subscribed, with early commitment from international Limited Partners whose prior investments include Coinbase, Reddit, Patreon, Yat, Anchor, and Artblocks.
GD1 Crypto Fund 1 is separate from GD1 Fund 3, which is currently raising and set for an oversubscribed final close in August.
Co-Managing Partner Vignesh Kumar said the were thrilled to have Ahmed join the GD1 team to lead their web3/crypto strategy.
“Nawaz’s work gives GD1 an important vehicle to test our preliminary thesis around the concept of permissionless innovation that web3 is built on, and we’re excited to start laying the foundations of our investment strategy in this area,” he said.
“Like the founders we invest in, we track folks we’d like to work with and we were blown away by Nawaz and his commitment to ‘learning by doing’ in the web3 space ever since our paths first crossed in 2019. His strong angel investment track record, stellar global networks and empathetic approach to company building have meant that now is the opportune moment for GD1 to launch a new VC offering and get the right in-house capability needed to confidently execute on our web3 ambitions.”
Ahmed, a seasoned angel investor recognised for his work on the first NZ stablecoin, Techemynt, said New Zealand web3 and crypto startups are largely backed by offshore investment.
“In the past, the very best NZ companies in this space have easily been able to raise funds globally and haven’t needed to rely on local investment. This is a missed opportunity for NZ-based funds and one we’d like to be the first to explore,” he said.
“GD1 understands that being good at early-stage tech investing relies heavily on building authentic relationships and meeting great people doing great things.
“I look forward to putting this approach into action as we look to become the go-to choice for web3/crypto funding in New Zealand and beyond, and most importantly, I look forward to executing with a truly global mandate for investment opportunities.”