Peter Thiel fund backs crypto startup in $15.5 million round


Peter Thiel is once again betting on bitcoin.

Less than a week after the billionaire investor retreated from a planned acquisition of Gawker Media, he is now shifting his focus to the crypto-asset market.

Thiel’s venture-capital firm, which manages one of the largest asset portfolios in Silicon Valley, is banking on digital coins gaining mainstream popularity. Its latest target is Tagomi Systems Inc., an early-stage startup that aims to bring Wall Street electronic-trading expertise to cryptocurrency market.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Founders Fund — which Thiel launched in July 2005 — participated in a $15.5 million funding round for Tagomi. Whether Founders Fund led the effort remains unknown.

Napoleon Ta, a Founders Fund partner, is listed as one of the company’s directors in a recent Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing.

This is not the first time that Founders Fund has invested in bitcoin or other aspects of the cryptocurrency industry.

Earlier this year, the San Francisco-based firm confirmed that it had purchased at least $15 million worth of the volatile cryptocurrency. The firm later told investors that its bitcoin assets were worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Founders Fund has also invested in crypto-focused hedge funds, including MetaStable Capital and Polychain Capital, as well as Harbor, a platform that allows users to tokenize real-world assets while remaining in compliance with securities regulations.

Thiel has been an early investor in companies like Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), Airbnb, SpaceX and Lyft. Founders Fund has approximately $3 billion under management.

Read more at: New York Business Journal

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