LA-Based Blockchain Venture Firm Raises $25 Million Fund

Ben Bergman

Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.

LA-Based Blockchain Venture Firm Raises $25 Million Fund
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Draper Goren Holm, the Los Angeles-based venture studio focusing on early stage blockchain startups, has raised its first traditional venture fund with $25 million to bankroll seed and Series A rounds. The announcement was made at the firm's seventh annual Los Angeles Blockchain Summit, which was scheduled to take place at the L.A. Convention Center and offered attendees $100 worth of bitcoin each. Instead it's gone virtual.

The firm was founded in 2018 by Tim Draper – a prolific Bay Area VC whose early bets on unicorns like Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter paid off big before he became a leading proponent of crypto currency – along with serial entrepreneur Josef Holm and Alon Goren, co-founder of the Crypto Invest Summit.

The firm was founded in 2018 by Tim Draper (center)– a prolific Bay Area VC whose early bets on unicorns like Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter paid off big before he became a leading proponent of crypto currency – along with serial entrepreneur Josef Holm (right) and Alon Goren, co-founder of the Crypto In

As a venture studio, Draper Goren Holm has already backed 18 startups, carving out a niche in decentralized finance (DeFi) and the security token and digital securities sector. Portfolio companies include DeFi Money Market, Totle, Ownera, Innovesta, LunarCrush, Degens, Giftz, Vertalo, Coinsquad, CasperLabs and Jointer.

Southern California is not known as a crypto hotbed, but Goren, who was born and raised here, says by its nature crypto is decentralized so founders and investors might as well live somewhere that they desire.

"Have you ever lived somewhere you didn't actually want to be?" Goren asked. "It sucks. I don't want to invest in someone that isn't where they wanna be."

Goren added that he thinks Southern California can also nurture higher-quality startups.

"The startups here, for a long period of time, had to prove a little [more] than up in Silicon Valley their worth and I think it made for a more realistic and solid foundation for growth," Goren wrote in an email. "Companies seemed to always be a little further along and a little more established before they went out to raise a round."

Though it will still be based in Los Angeles, Draper Goren Holm will be opening an office in Vienna, Austria in December, led by Holm, who is Austrian and has been splitting his time between that country and Santa Monica.
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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

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Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

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LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

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Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: HyperDraft Taps LegalZoom Exec
Photo by James Opas | Modified by Joshua Letona

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.

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