Uniswap Labs, the largest decentralized trading and automated market-making protocol on Ethereum, announced on Monday that it has launched a new venture unit- the Uniswap Labs Ventures, to invest in projects across Web3.
The firm said that Uniswap Labs Ventures would invest in various web3 initiatives, focusing on startups developing consumer-facing apps, developer tools, and blockchain infrastructure.
It added that it has tapped Matteo Leibowitz, Strategy Lead at Uniswap, to head up the venture arm alongside Uniswap’s Chief Operating Officer, Mary-Catherine Lader.
Leibowitz talked about the new development and said that investments from the new venture unit will be made directly from the Uniswap Labs balance sheet. He, however, did not highlight any details on how large such checks would be or how much balance sheet capital will be dedicated to the fund.
Uniswap Labs Ventures will focus on helping web3 startups to build and scale across strategy, product, design, partnerships, and engineering. The company mentioned that the venture fund will also actively participate in on and off-chain governance of projects. Uniswap Labs Ventures plans to participate in the governance systems of the Aave, Compound, MakerDAO, and Ethereum Name Service protocols. The venture fund will also invest in both equity and token deals.
Leibowitz explained how the company will invest in the project. He stated that the firm will put a lot of emphasis on the persistence and vision of the founders when giving out funds to potential startups.
Before Uniswap Labs launched its venture arm, the company has invested in 11 startups and projects, including DeFi credit markets such as MakerDAO, Aave, Compound Protocol, PartyDAO, and LayerZero as well as Tenderly, an Ethereum developer platform.
Leibowitz admitted that the broader trend of web3 firms making venture investments has shown the desire for collaboration instead of competing with one another. “The growth of Web3 companies supporting each other through venture investments reflects the principles of collaboration that are so fundamental to the industry’s open-source ethos. The Uniswap ecosystem has benefited enormously from third-party contributions, and we’re excited to pay it forward by sharing our experience and expertise with our peers,” he stated.
Uniswap has therefore joined a rising number of crypto-native firms that are now formally committing resources to invest in other firms in the space, including the likes of DeFi protocol Cake and crypto exchange FTX, which both recently unveiled their venture funds.
Providing Decentralized Finance Services
Uniswap is regarded as the largest decentralized exchange (DEX) operating on the Ethereum blockchain. The platform has been helping to lead the decentralized finance (DeFi) movement and has demonstrated itself as a champion for the democratization and decentralization of traditional financial systems.
In September last year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) started investigating Uniswap Labs with regards to how investors use Uniswap — the world’s largest decentralized exchange — and how the platform is marketed.
Uniswap responded by stating that it was committed to complying with the laws and regulations governing its industry and to providing information to regulators that would help them with any investigations.
SEC’s probe into Uniswap Labs came amid intensified regulatory interest in crypto and the digital asset market. In August, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler called on Congress to give the agency more authority to oversee DeFi platforms, which are not regulated in the U.S.
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