GD1 becomes the first NZ Venture Capital firm to launch dedicated web3/Crypto VC fund.
Industry expert Nawaz Ahmed joins the GD1 team as General Partner, GD1 Crypto Fund 1
Global From Day 1 (GD1) has announced New Zealand’s first dedicated web3/Crypto focused venture capital fund. The US$5 million fund, ‘GD1 Crypto Fund 1’, will be led in-house by renowned cryptocurrency and web3 expert Nawaz Ahmed as General Partner. Focused on investing in the next generation of web3/Crypto entrepreneurs and projects around the world, the fund has already warehoused two deals that will see GD1 invest in companies that count VC giants Andreessen Horowitz, True Ventures and Kleiner Perkins as investors.
First close has been set for June and is expected to be over-subscribed, with early commitment from international Limited Partners whose prior investments include Coinbase, Reddit, Patreon, Yat, Anchor, and Artblocks. GD1 Crypto Fund 1 is separate from GD1 Fund 3, which saw a successful first close at $130M and anticipates an oversubscribed final close in August.
“One of our goals at GD1 has always been to diversify into new focus areas and continuously expand our knowledge base by onboarding individuals with diverse and interesting experiences and so we’re thrilled to have Nawaz join the GD1 team to help lead our web3/Crypto strategy. Nawaz’s work gives GD1 an important vehicle to test our preliminary thesis around the concept of permissionless innovation that web3 is built on, and we’re excited to start laying the foundations of our investment strategy in this area,” explains Vignesh Kumar, Co-Managing Partner at GD1.
Currently within New Zealand, web3 and Crypto startups are largely backed by offshore investment. At the moment, local VC firms offer investors very little in the way of global web3/Crypto investment options and the deep relationship benefits that come with co-investing with some of the world’s largest players.
“In the past, the very best NZ companies in this space have easily been able to raise funds globally and haven’t needed to rely on local investment. This is a missed opportunity for NZ-based funds and one we’d like to be the first to explore,” says Nawaz.
The fund will be investing in pre-seed to series A companies across decentralised finance (DeFi), decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs), NFTs, web3 and Crypto infrastructure, as well as tangential sectors.
Investment in in-house expertise
Nawaz is a seasoned angel investor who is well-known for his work on the first New Zealand dollar stablecoin, Techemynt. With deep experience in web3 and Crypto, he’s worked with international Crypto-advisory firms, including Faculty Group and Genesis Block, building and advising on new projects and has angel invested alongside top tier VC firms. He also hosts a podcast called The Inquisitive VC which provides the local startup community with experience and knowledge from leading investors and entrepreneurs across the world.
“Like the founders we invest in, we track folks we’d like to work with and we were blown away by Nawaz and his commitment to ‘learning by doing’ in the web3 space ever since our paths first crossed in 2019. His strong angel investment track record, stellar global networks and empathetic approach to company building have meant that now is the opportune moment for GD1 to launch a new VC offering and get the right in-house capability needed to confidently execute on our web3 ambitions. Bringing onboard someone with Nawaz’s level of experience and expertise gives us the opportunity to do an exceptional job at deploying the capital raised into the very best local and global talent and projects in this space, ” adds Vignesh.
The go-to for backing web3/Crypto projects
GD1 is acting on an important opportunity to invest in incredible companies that are designing, shaping and building the future of the internet. “What’s more, GD1 understands that being good at early-stage tech investing relies heavily on building authentic relationships and meeting great people doing great things. I look forward to putting this approach into action as we look to become the go-to choice for web3/Crypto funding in New Zealand and beyond, and most importantly - I look forward to executing with a truly global mandate for investment opportunities,” said Nawaz.
“GD1 is well-known for supporting founders and companies with the capital, network and expertise they need to achieve their ‘Global from day 1’ ambitions. Ideally, promising companies in the web3 and Crypto space will come to GD1 for backing first in the future,” he concludes.