Polygon co-founder raises $50 million for Web3-focused investment firm

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Polygon co-founder Sandeep Nailwal and Cere Network’s Kenzi Wang had raised $50 million for Symbolic Capital, an early-stage investment firm that aims to support Web3 projects globally and provide support for startups in creating “consumer-facing decentralized apps” or dApps.

The firm aims to leverage Web3 projects “at the earliest stage possible”. Despite the present low-performing crypto market, Symbolic Capital already had made 15 investments in Web3 companies, three of which include Blinkmoon, Planet Mojo and Op Games.

“My core mission is to bring mass adoption to Web3, and that mass adoption is only going to happen via apps. It’s not like I’m going to build a blockchain, and people will come and use the blockchain — nobody uses blockchain directly. They always use it via some app,” said Nailwal via TechCrunch’s Anita Ramaswamy of the firm’s goal and objective in backing dApps companies.

Ramaswamy wrote that the fund for Symbolic Capital was raised from “other venture firms, crypto exchanges, family offices and institutions”. The names of these backers were not disclosed.

About Symbolic Capital, future plans

The young firm sets itself apart from other similar entities by claiming that it is run by “crypto founders” and is the first firm exclusively spearheaded by such individuals. This also affects how the firm approaches projects it would invest in. Aside from merely investing, Symbolic Capital would provide “a hands-on approach” such as advisory, recruiting and even marketing.

In expanding its reach and portfolio, Symbolic Capital has six main investment areas, which include Web2 to Web3, interoperability, ZK applications, NFT consumerization, the metaverse and creator economy.

“We’re an early-stage $50m VC fund supporting the best Web3 founders globally,” the firm wrote. “We’re one of the first VC firms led exclusively by web3 founders, allowing us to provide unparalleled support to the builders in our portfolio.”

Both Nailwal and Wang are co-founders of their own projects before joining hands with fellow like-minded individuals to set forth Symbolic Capital. Coming from similar tech and blockchain backgrounds, both founders agreed to a relatively simple, pretty straightforward idea with the young firm — to back founders who came from emerging markets. Via Ramaswamy, Nailwal plans to contribute 80 to 90 percent of the firm’s capital to these founders.

“Because they are all pushed against the wall for their survival, they need to build something that will generate some revenue, and they can survive on that,” he added.

“Many of them have the capability that they are able to build businesses which eventually acquire users, but you need to help them to keep reinventing themselves and upping their bar so that once they have a proven model at a smaller scale, they keep growing at a much bigger scale and reinvent their ideas and business model.”

In the future, as Symbolic Capital grows alongside projects that it invested in, Nailwal hopes that founders backed by the firm could pay it forward by becoming “angel investors” to other growing projects.

“We want to do [this] for both the portfolio companies, as well as the founders, who we believe eventually will become angel investors in many of the new projects that will come [through Symbolic],” said the co-founder.