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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

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jul 28, 2021 - Energy & Environment

The private climate finance surge

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There's so much private equity and infrastructure fund action in the climate tech space these days that it's hard to keep up.

Driving the news: Brookfield Asset Management on Tuesday closed $7 billion for its Global Transition Fund that aims to scale clean energy and help carbon-intensive industries cut emissions.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Jul 29, 2021 - Economy & Business

The mental health deal boom

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The positive social media response to Simone Biles withdrawing from Olympic competition highlights how the artificial line between health care and mental health care is finally beginning to dissolve. And startup investors have taken notice.

By the numbers: Venture capital investments in mental health startups rose 72.6% between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, per CB Insights.

Airlines call for Biden admin's "immediate intervention" in 5G deployment

Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The CEOs of leading U.S. air cargo and passenger carriers on Monday warned the Biden administration there could be "catastrophic disruption" after AT&T and Verizon deploy a new 5G service this week.

Driving the news: They said in a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other top federal officials ahead of the C-Band 5G service's deployment Wednesday that "the nation's commerce will grind to a halt" and "could potentially strand tens of thousands of Americans overseas."