Crypto venture capital firm New Form Capital is raising its second VC fund, targeting a $75 million raise for a strategy that invests in early stage blockchain companies via a Wall Street lens.
Founder and general partner Alex Marinier is now finalizing the marketing strategy for the new fund, with the idea being to actively raise capital after Labor Day. The plan is to hold a first close in the fourth quarter with about half of the fundraise in the door — and then drum up the remainder over the first and second quarters of 2022.
Marinier is also in the market to hire the New York-based New Form’s first chief operating officer as the business grows. Marinier, a vet of Blackstone and DCM Ventures, said he heavily taps into his network cultivated at both firms and on the VC circuit more broadly in terms of sourcing new investments.
“Half the battle of investing early-stage is building out a network to source from,”Marinier said. “In venture, everything is timing. If you’re a little early or a little late, you can ruin a fund that way.”
Marinier has already raised general-partnership seed capital for New Form from two of the biggest names in the trading business: James Chiu of Vatic Labs and John Burbank, founder of San Francisco-based global macro firm Passport Capital.
The New Form head said he leverages such connections — including limited partners from quant shops and fund-of-funds — in finding investment opportunities for the fund, an approach he intends to continue with the second vehicle.
“You have other funds out there who have very heavy technical backgrounds,” he said. “For us, it’s more of a business-development type of value-add, where we’ll plug you in with our proprietary LP set.”
New Form counts Steve Lau, managing member of quant firm WorldQuant Ventures, among its LPs. Lau told Crypto Investor he’s been pleased by what he’s seen from the upstart firm so far, noting that he likes to bet on first-time VC founders.
“I’ve been impressed with Alex and really liked being inside the flow of blockchain and fintech intel,” Lau said. “For me, as well as for him, it’s about developing relationships. When he starts raising his second fund, I’ll try to bring in other LPs as well.”
The first fund hit on a number of promising crypto investments, including Structure, which New Form co-invested with alongside Polychain Capital in August 2020. Structure is a tokenized-securities trading platform that spun out from Jump Trading.
Other notable investments include de-fi credit underwriter Spectral.Finance, which Galaxy Digital also backed in November 2020. All told, Fund 1 has now invested in 19 companies out of a total of 20, with half of that mark reserved for follow-on capital from existing LPs.
Marinier cut his teeth on blockchain investing at DCM Ventures.
After starting at DCM in 2016, he went on to start heading up the company’s initial blockchain investments “right when crypto started entering the public consciousness,” he said. He worked for DCM until 2019, when he left to found New Form. While at DCM, he led early-stage investments in the likes of Blockfolio and Chia.