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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Volt Capital, a venture capital firm focused on the cryptocurrency industry, tells Axios that it raised $10 million for its first fund.

Why it matters: Volt plans to maintain its focus on early-stage startups, which are being increasingly ignored by venture capital firms that are raising ever-larger funds.

  • The firm will focus on startups building end-user services, digital asset intermediaries (like fiat-to-token conversion), decentralized finance, and more traditional fintech companies that plan to integrate cryptocurrencies into their products.
  • Investors in the fund include Union Square Ventures’ Albert Wenger, ex-Coinbase CTO Balaji Srinivasan, Founders Fund's Brian Singerman, Elad Gil, Digital Currency Group, and CMT Digital.

Backstory: Volt general partner Soona Amhaz says her crypto interest initially led her to helping create a newsletter on the subject back in late 2017, just as VC investing in the space took off.

  • That’s also how she started meeting startup and project founders at the earliest stages, a network she's now parlaying into a venture fund.
  • “It was surprising to me who would get funded, and who wouldn’t,” she says, adding that her early access to entrepreneurs and gave her a better vantage point than some of the generalist VCs who were beginning to make some investments in the industry.

Go deeper

56 mins ago - World

Putin denies Russia is behind cyberattacks ahead of Biden summit

In an exclusive interview with NBC's "Today," Russian President Vladimir Putin denied that Russia is waging cyber warfare against the United States and refused to guarantee opposition leader Alexei Navalny — whose name he would not say — will leave prison alive.

Why it matters: Cyberattacks by Russian intelligence and Russian-speaking criminal groups, as well as the Kremlin's attempted assassination and jailing of Navalny, are among the topics President Biden is expected to raise at his Geneva summit with Putin on Wednesday.

3 hours ago - Health

Novavax says COVID-19 vaccine was 90% effective in Phase 3 trial

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Novavax, a Maryland biotechnology company, announced Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine was 90.4% effective in its Phase 3 trial, including against coronavirus variants.

Why it matters: The study of 29,960 participants in the U.S. and Mexico found the shot was safe and highly effective, paving the way for the FDA to clear a 4th vaccine for emergency use by the end of the year.