Paradigm Ventures Expands Focus To Include AI And Frontier Tech
Crypto venture capital firm Paradigm is expanding its investment focus beyond blockchain technology to include a broader range of “frontier tech,” such as artificial intelligence (AI), according to sources familiar with the matter. The company’s website has been updated to reflect this shift, now identifying Paradigm as a “research-driven technology investment firm” rather than one solely focused on disruptive crypto and Web3 companies and protocols.
Paradigm, the most prominent Crypto VC, is taking its crypto-only focus to include “frontier” technologies such as AI. It removed crypto/web3 mentions from the front page of its website earlier this month. TheBlock reported. https://t.co/chqUBWxh8h
The company is now calling…
— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain) May 26, 2023
Although the website revision took effect around May 3, it does not indicate a departure from the crypto space. Instead, it aims to emphasize Paradigm’s expansion into adjacent areas while maintaining its core focus on crypto and Web3. The firm’s portfolio section still showcases numerous crypto-related companies, decentralized finance projects, and non-fungible token (NFT) platforms.
Insiders have stated that Paradigm’s mandate remains unchanged, with continued emphasis on crypto and Web3 investments. The updated website copy highlights the firm’s commitment to technical research and showcases its support for companies exploring new technologies within their core strategies, such as AI Arena.
Paradigm, founded in 2018 by Fred Ehrsam (co-founder of Coinbase) and Matt Huang (former Sequoia partner), raised a record-breaking $2.5 billion crypto-focused venture fund in November 2021. Its impressive portfolio includes prominent companies like Uniswap, OpenSea, and Fireblocks.
Investment in Crypto Startups
The crypto industry has faced challenges, including the aftermath of the FTX exchange collapse, which impacted Paradigm as an investor. The firm wrote off its $290 million investment in FTX after the exchange filed for bankruptcy in November 2022. Despite these setbacks, Paradigm has invested in over 100 crypto startups to date.
This expansion into frontier tech comes at a time when the crypto industry is experiencing a slowdown in venture capital investments. In the first quarter of 2023, VC investments in crypto totalled approximately $2.8 billion, down from around $3.5 billion in the previous quarter.
The increased attention on AI, particularly with the rise of OpenAI’s ChatGPT language model, has sparked discussions about integrating AI and blockchain technology. Industry leaders like Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle, have expressed enthusiasm for the convergence of AI and blockchains, citing benefits such as data provenance, machine-generated contracts, and machine-to-machine value exchange. Many believe that AI’s growing prominence will drive demand for cryptography and blockchain technology, making crypto even more important in the future.