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.