Venture firm Variant has doubled down on Web3 and decentralized finance startups when the crypto market faces a funding winter with an infusion of fresh $450 million. The fundraiser was led by general partners Li Jin, a16z alumni Jesse Walden, and Spencer Noon.
Variant is an early-stage crypto-focused investment fund founded by Andreessen Horowitz veterans will set up two funds from the new financing with a $150 million seed fund and a $300 million opportunity fund to support projects with demonstrated traction from its portfolio and beyond.
The crypto venture firm has backed well-known Web3 and crypto projects, including the decentralized crypto exchange Uniswap, decentralized nonfungible token marketplace Magic Eden and Ethereum scaling project Polygon. Last October, the firm launched a $110 million fund and a merger with Atelier Ventures. Following the merger, Variant brought on Atelier’s founder, Li Jin, as a partner investor.
The fund will specifically target DeFi projects, blockchain computing, consumer-oriented Web3 projects and new forms of ownership such as nonfungible tokens.
“What we have learned over the last few years has reinforced our thesis that user-owned networks grow bigger and faster than their traditional centralized counterparts, with more favorable economic terms for users. Beyond that, it has also shown that ownership is a vast design space, with different experiences ranging from participation in a community to financial exposure to governance,” said a statement released by Variant partners Li Jin, Spencer Noon and Jesse Walden.
The venture firm focuses on protocols addressing the financialization and productivity of NFTs; L1s, L2s, and L3s; cross-chain interoperability that enables apps with native Omni-chain product experiences; Web3 social networks that combine unique social and economic incentives; and new token economic models that coordinate user behaviors, such as X-to-earn and resource marketplaces.
“Tokens and NFTs enable net-new user experiences that satisfy diverse motivations and ‘jobs-to-be done,’ from control to belonging to financial alignment with everyday products. Ownership is a design space for new product features and experiences,” the firm explained.