Uniswap Labs, the organization behind the decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol Uniswap, has launched its VC arm for Web3 developments in an official announcement.
Under Uniswap Labs Ventures, the investment vertical plans to invest in different stages of web3 projects. The organization stated that it will look at all projects ranging from infrastructure to developer tools and consumer-facing applications. Uniswap also remarked, “As a crypto-native studio with deep knowledge of the space, we are uniquely capable of supporting our portfolio companies as they scale their operations.”
In addition to that, the VC arm “will actively participate in on and off-chain governance.” With that, the team specified that they already participate in the governance systems of MakerDAO, Aave, Compound, and Ethereum Name Service protocols. All in all, Uniswap Labs has invested in 11 companies so far and a few other Web3 native protocols, as per the release.
The VC shark tank
Uniswap Labs is diving into the Web3 VC space which has grown tremendously in the past couple of years.
A Crunchbase report estimated a wrap-up of 200 VC deals totaling nearly $4 billion in the first two months of 2022. This is already 22% of the total seen in all of 2021 — which was a massive record-breaking year.
Meanwhile, Uniswap Labs has appointed Teo Leibowitz as the Ventures Lead. Leibowitz alongside the Chief Operating Officer, MC Lader, is expected to lead the funding vertical. What’s interesting is that all VC investments will be made directly from the Uniswap Labs balance sheet, as per Leibowitz’s statement to The Block.
Which also brings the new venture under a blanket of existing criticism. With respect to Web3 investment arms, there is an ongoing debate that they have gained an unfair advantage in a supposedly ‘decentralized’ space.
Do VCs own Web3?
Last year, Former Twitter chief Jack Dorsey had taken to the social platform to express his displeasure in this regard.
In another instance, an earlier report by the Financial Times had alleged that the crypto exchange Coinbase is profiting from deals made via its investment arm called Coinbase Ventures. However, the company denied the accusations in a statement released soon after in January.
Despite that, the Web3 space is now seeing huge investments made via funds under top exchanges, banks, and tech firms.