Popular decentralized exchange (DEX) Uniswap has announced the formation of Uniswap Labs Ventures (ULV), a venture capital fund focused on investing in Web3 companies and projects.
The firm will invest at any stage of development into various projects or technologies related to Web3, infrastructure, developer tools, and consumer-facing applications as areas of interest according to the announcement on Monday, April 11.
The firm has already invested in 11 companies and Web3 protocols, including decentralized money market Aave, the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) behind the DAI stablecoin, MakerDAO, and blockchain bridging protocol LayerZero.
In the announcement, Uniswap expressed what it looked for in other projects it was interested in funding, but did not reveal any further projects it was planning on investing in.
“We’re also focused on investing in projects that are closely aligned with our values: building for the long term, collaborating openly with communities, and putting users first.”
In a Twitter thread accompanying the announcement, Uniswap founder Hayden Adams shared that ULV plans to participate in the governance of projects it invests in, adding that it plans to participate in the governance systems of Aave, Compound Finance, Ethereum Name Service, and MakerDAO.
As a crypto-native team, we can’t wait to support other projects in the space as they launch and grow
One unique aspect of ULV that I am especially excited about is our plans to participate in the governance systems of projects we invest in
— hayden.eth (@haydenzadams) April 11, 2022
There was no mention of the amount of capital Uniswap’s venture fund had under management.
Uniswap tapped Matteo Leibowitz as Ventures Lead, heading up the effort with Uniswap COO, Mary-Catherine Lader. Leibowitz is the former Strategy Lead for Uniswap and previously was founder and editor of the now-defunct “Crypto Chat” newsletter, and research analyst at The Block.
Crypto companies are beginning to diversify through venture capital firms. In January, centralized exchange FTX launched a $2 billion fund to invest in Web3 businesses, most recently leading a $350 million funding round for the NEAR Protocol (NEAR).
Interest in crypto from venture capital firms is on the rise, with research by Cointelegraph showing a staggering 144% increase of capital inflows to the space between 2020 and 2021, with DeFi being the most favored for investment.
Uniswap did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph when asked for comment.