Scoop: Cryptocurrency investment fund launches in the Triangle

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Durham entrepreneur Ryan Bethencourt, CEO of the plant-based dog food company Wild Earth, has launched a new investment fund focused on “Web3” startups in the Triangle.

  • Web3 is an umbrella term for technologies like cryptocurrencies and NFTs (non-fungible token).
  • You can read more about what Web3 is by reading this explainer from Axios’ Scott Rosenberg.

Why it matters: Bethencourt believes the Triangle could birth several companies in the cryptocurrency or NFT space in the next two years.

  • Layer One Ventures, which is being launched on the fundraising platform AngelList, has already raised around $3 million to invest in early-stage startups, Bethencourt said.
  • He said the goal is to write $50,000 to $250,000 checks to local entrepreneurs working in the Web3 space.

Details: Bethencourt has a long history of launching investment funds, like Sustainable Food Ventures. He will be Layer One’s partner, navigating what investments the fund makes.

Yes, but: The fund is launching at a trying time for cryptocurrencies. Much like the stock market, crypto prices have declined this year, with Bitcoin notably falling more than 50% from its high in November 2021.

  • “With the crypto markets (and financial markets) now in a deep bear market,” Bethencourt said, “I’m bullish on investing in scrappy companies during this period which I suspect will be similar to 2000 and 2008 in previous market cycles.”

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