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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.

Biden pledges to double U.S. climate funding to developing nations

U.S. President Joe Biden addresses the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly on September 21, 2021. (Eduardo Munoz-Pool/Getty Images)

Staring down a "borderless climate crisis," President Biden told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday that the U.S. will double public financial assistance to developing countries, including money to help them adapt to present-day climate impacts.

Why it matters: The failure of industrialized nations to fulfill a 2009 pledge to devote $100 billion annually to developing countries is a major impediment to a successful UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, which starts next month.