Lightspeed Ventures, a well-known Silicon Valley venture capital firm, has raised $1.8 billion to invest in startups from cryptocurrency to beauty supplies, hoping to build on its streak of lucrative bets in companies such as Snap Inc (SNAP.N), the firm’s partners told Reuters.
A spokesperson of Lightspeed said in a statement: “We’ve been making many investments in the fintech space over the past several years, including Affirm, Blockchain, Basis and more that are unannounced. Blockchain-based technologies are a huge area of interest for us and we have partners focused on this. In terms of a dedicated crypto fund, we have nothing to announce at this time.”
At the same time, Andreessen Horowitz another notable VC firm stated:
“We believe that just as the last three megatrends — mobile, social, and cloud — intersected and reinforced each other, so will the next three megatrends — next-gen computing devices, AI, and crypto.” — a16zcrytpo.com
Another recent quote sums up the fervor in crypto among funds in a very powerful way:
“The hedge fund financiers backing QI are far from the only City bigwigs putting cash behind AI and related fintech projects.
In May, the Swiss bank UBS said it was moving 80 staff into a new artificial-intelligence division, dubbed the Strategic Development Lab, which is dedicated to defending its fixed-income trading turf against hungry fintech startups.
Later the same month Deutsche Börse, the German stock exchange, said it had earmarked €270m for investment in big data analysis, blockchain, robotics and AI.
Meanwhile, the City Corporation’s top envoy to the EU, Jeremy Browne, said late last month that he thinks AI will be more disruptive to UK financial firms than Brexit, in the long term.
Quant Insight and its backers are betting that banks and asset managers will also tap into new tech by buying in services like the one it offers. The analytics firm said it has grown customer numbers by 50% this year, and has added new staff to sell its services in Asia and the US.
It is also working with “major banks” on creating bespoke indexes and equity baskets — groups of stocks that share certain characteristics and are likely to move in a similar way in response to given macro events.”
As more funds focus on AI and cryptocurrencies, just as our fund has done for the last 4 years, we anticipate a consolidation of quality with funds focused on high-end crypto technologies that utilize AI, NLP and Machine Learning.