Analysts Quit BlackRock To Establish Blockchain Venture Fund
Three analysts left their current positions at BlackRock, the $6.3 trillion international investment giant, to start their own $20 mln venture capital fund, Eterna Capital, which will focus on blockchain projects, as reported by Financial News May 2nd.
The venture capital fund, worth $20 mln, will focus on attracting institutional investors and will be operated under the direction of Andrea Bonaceto, who founded online recruitment platform HiredGrad in 2014. Bonaceto launched the fund in late April in partnership with former BlackRock employees Nassim Olive, Asim Ahmad, and Mattia Mrvosevic.
Eterna Capital aims to invest in blockchain solutions that target UN Sustainable Development Goals like world hunger, poverty, clean water, and affordable clean energy. Bonaceto stated:
- “One example is the disintermediation of banks in under-banked third-world countries, so people don’t need banks to get a loan, as the money can be held on the blockchain. Or selling solar power between neighbors, rather than relying on an energy firm, is another example of how blockchain can be used for social impact.”
Olive said in an interview that his experience with insurance firms at Blackrock made him realize that there was institutional interest in blockchain investment. Nevertheless, big investors are cautious of direct investment into such sectors due to the size of the market. He further mentioned:
- “2017 was the year of Bitcoin and [initial coin offerings] (ICOs), but we’re convinced 2018 will be when blockchain and cryptos will rise as an asset class, and when institutional money moves into this market.”
This isn’t the first time employees of highly reputable companies have quit their positions to start their own projects within blockchain. Earlier last month, Facebook employee Rachel Horowitz resigned from her job at the social media giant to join cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase as Vice President of Communications.