Ant Group, the Chinese fintech giant, is reportedly planning to divest its investment in A&T Capital, signalling a notable retreat from a venture that played a central role in its crypto strategy. This move comes amid changes within the crypto landscape and operational challenges faced by A&T Capital. Ant Group’s decision to divest its stake in A&T Capital marks a step back from a $100 million venture that had been a key component of its strategy in the volatile digital asset space, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Ant Group’s Strategy
Since April 2021, A&T Capital has made substantial investments in prominent players within the crypto industry, including Matrixport and Amber Group, both digital-asset lenders, and ConsenSys, a key player in the Ethereum ecosystem. These investments had been instrumental in Ant Group’s foray into the crypto market. While Ant Group’s announcement on Bloomberg has garnered attention, it remains uncertain whether A&T Capital will continue to operate independently or seek new investors. Reports suggest that the A&T Capital website was experiencing technical difficulties, returning a timed-out error as of Monday afternoon.
The decision to divest comes at a time when A&T Capital has been undergoing significant changes in its leadership. Earlier in the year, A&T’s founding partner, Yu Jun, who had previously held an executive role at Ant Group, resigned amidst allegations of sexual harassment. Several women, including some A&T Capital employees, accused him of misconduct, prompting an investigation.
This news coincides with data from PitchBook, highlighting that crypto venture funding has reached its lowest point since 2020. Several other major players have also reduced their crypto investments in recent months, with Sequoia Capital notably making a 65% cut in its crypto funding.
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However, it’s essential to note that Ant Group’s move represents a strategic pivot rather than a complete withdrawal from the crypto space. Just one week earlier, the company announced the launch of ZAN, a project aimed at providing blockchain development products to the web3 community, indicating that the firm maintains its interest in the industry’s future.