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Former Binance M&A head seeks $100M for crypto fund

Feb 22, 2023
Illustration of a pixelated coin sticking out of a pixelated wallet.

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

The former head of M&A at Binance is seeking over $100 million to invest in crypto businesses around the world.

Why it matters: Valuations in the Web3 world are beginning to reset following several high-profile blowups, giving rise to a handful of funds looking to capitalize on what comes next.

Details: The $100 million is sought by Bill Qian, who left Binance mid-2022.

  • “When I think about global crypto investments, the best vintage was 2018 because it was a bear market — and lots of innovation happens then,” Qian tells Lucinda.
  • Qian is now chairman and general partner at Cypher Capital Group in Dubai.
  • Cypher has already made some investments out of the fund, including in the Sui blockchain system.
  • Qian's new fund, first reported by Bloomberg, will bet on early-stage companies in the crypto space, and it may also make investments in Web2 companies that could enter Web3.

Of note: That latter playbook might sound familiar. While at Binance, Qian was known for his bet in LayerZero, as well as for originating the ill-fated deal to invest $200 million in media company, Forbes.

  • The Forbes deal was seen as a way to introduce more consumers to Web3 — and to introduce a media company to more crypto.

Zoom in: Binance created a $1 billion crypto recovery initiative last year. Venom Foundation and Iceberg Capital launched a $1 billion fund in January.

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