A financial service provider co-founded by Hong Kong real estate tycoon Adrian Cheng said it is raising $500 million to invest in blockchain assets, credit and private-equity over the next 18 months.
C Capital, co-founded by ex-Bank of America Merrill Lynch banker Ben Cheng, has plans for a $200 million blockchain fund, and intends to collect around $300 million for private-equity and private credit strategies next year.
Despite starting as a venture capital investor five years ago, C Capital has more recently expanded to later-stage companies. So far, the company has already invested $1 billion in more than 60 businesses, private companies, digital assets and credits.
According to Cheng, private equity and credit strategies take up about 40% of its capital, while the remaining 20% deployed in the hedge fund asset class mainly focuses on crypto trading.
Belief in bottom
The fundraising comes despite the downturn in the crypto markets over the past year, as the company is betting that the prices of private companies and digital assets are bottoming out. “When people are on defense, we’re on the offense,” said Cheng, who is also chief executive and president.
According to him, this type of environment historically “will yield the best result. After another six to nine months, it will come back.” After doubling last year, Cheng said that the value of its existing crypto investments swelled by 40% in the first half.
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Adrian Cheng is the grandson of tycoon Cheng Yu-tung, chief executive officer of New World Development, heir to the Chow Tai Fook family fortune, and unrelated to his C Capital co-founder.
Last year, Cheng announced that he would purchase and develop virtual land on the blockchain gaming platform the Sandbox, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-headquartered blockchain gaming unicorn Animoca Brands in which C Capital has invested.
The “innovation hub” will feature 10 companies with ties or partnerships with New World Development and Cheng’s venture capital firm that will offer non-fungible tokens (NFTs), immersive experiences and entertainment.
“Providing platforms for the next generation to be empowered to create, innovate and feel part of something that’s paving the way for the future is critical to progress,” said Cheng. “The digital world is constantly evolving, and we need to stay at the forefront of these changes by continuously exploring and developing the metaverse.”
Cheng said he wanted to showcase the business success of startups in the Greater Bay Area, a new economic zone that connects Hong Kong and Macau with nine Guangdong cities. As part of that project, the 42-year-old Hong Kong billionaire, art collector and real estate developer, revealed plans earlier this summer to open an expansive cultural-retail complex in mainland China in 2024.