Sanctor Capital Raises $20M to Fund Emerging Crypto Projects

Key Takeaways

  • Sanctor Capital has raised $20 million in its inaugural fund.
  • The fund will invest in cryptocurrency-related projects active in the DeFi, GameFi and cross-chain infrastructure niches.
  • Sanctor Capital will also leverage its mentorship program to support crypto founders.

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Sanctor Capital will use the funds to support crypto-native projects.

Sanctor Capital Closes $20 Million Raise 

Sanctor Capital has secured $20 million in its first funding round.

The newly raised capital will be used to back crypto projects operating in the DeFi, cross-chain infrastructure, and GameFi niches.

In a press release discussing the raise, Sanctor Capital found Han Kao detailed how the team plans to leverage its crypto experience to guide projects through their full lifecycle and bring products on the market. He said:

“From building a missionary team to finding product-market fit, we intend to share our insights and experiences—in addition to capital resources and access to our extensive network—to help other crypto entrepreneurs navigate and maximize their chances of success.”

According to the research firm Pitchbook, venture capital firms had allocated $17 billion to crypto projects as of June 2021. The huge influx of capital into the crypto industry comes as a wide variety of projects push technological innovation on blockchain networks like Ethereum, Solana, Fantom, and Cosmos. Such innovation has laid the foundation for a huge uptick in the adoption of applications in DeFi, NFTs, and gaming.

Ilya Abugov, a partner at Sanctor Capital, believes that the recent growth will open up opportunities for new startups that are “rethinking how we interact with games, art, music, and so much more”. On the firm’s funding round, Abugov added:

“With the completion of our first fund, we look forward to helping guide these new companies as they navigate through uncharted territories.”

For investor-side support and networking, Sanctor Capital runs a tailored mentorship program Sanctor Turbo. The program is designed to bring crypto projects to market with support from industry-leading organizations like Animoca Brands, Coinbase, CoinMarketCap, and Solana. The first teams to graduate from the Sanctor Turbo include THORSwap, Synchrony Finance, and Koii Network.

Disclosure: Some of the equity-holders in Sanctor Capital also hold equity in Crypto Briefing. Han Kao is the former CEO of Crypto Briefing, and Ilya Abugov is the former head of research at Crypto Briefing. 

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Synchrony Raises $4.2M to Build Asset Management Protocol on Solana

Key Takeaways

  • Synchrony has closed a $4.2 million strategic funding round from Sanctor Capital, Wintermute Trading, and GBV Capital.
  • The project is building a marketplace to allow users to replicate trading strategies across the Solana ecosystem.
  • Through the Synchrony interface, users will adjust parameters for trade execution and leverage in-depth analytics.

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Synchrony, a copy trading and asset management protocol on Solana, has raised $4.2 million from investors Sanctor Capital, Wintermute Trading, and GBV Capital. When launched, the platform will enable users to replicate trading strategies from throughout the Solana ecosystem.

Solana-based Copy Trading Protocol Scores Investment

Synchrony, an on-chain copy trading and asset management protocol on Solana, has closed a $4.2 million strategic funding round led by Sanctor Capital, Wintermute Trading, and GBV Capital. According to a press release shared with Crypto Briefing, the Synchrony team will deploy the newly-raised capital toward platform development and marketing operations.

Synchrony is an on-chain copy trading and asset management protocol on Solana. Once launched, Synchrony will allow users to automatically replicate trading strategies using token indices for the Solana ecosystem. Using indices, users can define parameters for crypto trading strategies from across the Solana ecosystem.

According to Evgeny Gaevoy, founder & CEO at Wintermute Trading, Synchrony enables ecosystem participants to react swiftly to market changes. Gaevoy said:

“By making it simple for users at all levels to afford control over strategy implementation, Synchrony introduces a more dynamic way to interact with the decentralized stack built on Solana.”

Through the Synchrony interface, users will have the ability to customize parameters for trade execution. With Synchrony, users will also benefit from wallet data analytics and on-chain metrics to help with copy trading and investment strategies. 

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According to Han Kao, founder of Sanctor Capital and lead investor in the project, such “insights will bring tremendous value” to the Solana ecosystem. Further speaking about this feature, Kao added:

“By unlocking this trove of data, Synchrony will provide a more holistic view of Solana dApps and DEX’s, which ultimately increases transparency while introducing new value for traders.”

With services ranging from copy trading to data analytics, the team plans to become the premier asset management platform on Solana—an ecosystem with over $12.4 billion in total value locked.

Disclosure: Some of the equity-holders in Sanctor Capital also hold equity in Crypto Briefing. Han Kao is the former CEO of Crypto Briefing.

This news was brought to you by Phemex, our preferred Derivatives Partner.


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DeFi Exchange THORSwap Closes $3.75M Token Sale

Key Takeaways

  • Cross-chain swap platform THORSwap has raised $3.75 million in a funding round.
  • The project will allocate the funds to operational resources.
  • THORSwap currently supports Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, with further integrations to be added in the coming months.

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THORSwap, the multi-chain liquidity platform on THORChain, has raised $3.75 million in a private token sale.

THORSwap Closes Private Token Sale

THORSwap, a decentralized exchange for swapping tokens across a variety of Layer 1 blockchains, has closed a $3.75 million funding round. IDEO CoLab Ventures led the raise, while other participants included Sanctor Capital, THORChain, True Ventures, Nine Realms, Proof Group, 0xVentures, Qi Capital, and others.

In a press release, the team said that it would allocate the funds towards operational resources. The project is hoping to become one of the leading automated market makers (AMMs) for multi-chain swaps. Powered by THORChain, the project enables trades across multiple blockchains without relying on centralized custodianship or asset wrapping. The native token, THOR, is used for incentivizing user participation and governance.

Rather than using wrapped tokens, the project leverages AMM-style liquidity pools to allow cross-chain swaps. It currently supports five networks: Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. More are due to be added in the coming months.

Like other DeFi projects such as Sushi, THORSwap has chosen to conceal the identities of its core team, possibly in response to increasing regulatory scrutiny on the space. A lead contributor operating under the alias THORSwap Admin said that the funds would help “accelerate the launch of new products” and allow the team to streamline cross-chain swaps further.

THORSwap is one of the key projects in the THORChain ecosystem, alongside other projects like Thorstarter, THORWallet, Brokkr, and DeFiSpot. With the rise of various Layer 1 blockchain networks, THORSwap is expected to play an important role in enabling cross-chain interoperability without compromising on decentralization.

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The lead investor in the round, Nine Realms founder and IDEO CoLab Ventures partner Gavin McDermott, said that the project “can become a top 5 DEX aggregator in the next year.”

Han Kao, founder of Sanctor Capital, added that THORSwap has been “the undisputed market leader” in unlocking cross-chain liquidity and that it would “play an important role in shaping the future of DeFi.”

Beyond the latest funding round, the project has also revealed its plans to integrate additional liquidity sources and release a partner API in the coming months.

Disclosure: Some of the equity-holders in Sanctor Capital also hold equity in Crypto Briefing. Han Kao is the former CEO of Crypto Briefing.

This news was brought to you by ANKR, our preferred DeFi Partner.

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Sanctor Turbo Demo Day Round-Up

Key Takeaways

  • Sanctor Turbo Demo Day is an event hosted by Sanctor Capital.
  • The investment firm organized the event to conclude its six-week mentorship program.
  • The event saw demos from the three participating projects and panel discussions featuring a host of industry heavyweights.

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Sanctor Turbo Demo Day gave viewers a first look at the inaugural class to graduate from Sanctor Turbo, as well as expert panel discussions covering three of the hottest topics in the crypto space today. 

Sanctor Turbo Hosts Demos 

Sanctor Capital, an early-stage blockchain-focused investment firm, has concluded its first six-week mentorship program. The three teams selected for the alpha class presented their projects for the first time at a demo day on Sep. 14, showcasing the cutting-edge blockchain technologies they have been developing.

The first project to demo was Koii Protocol, which aims to provide faster, cheaper, and more rewarding ways to build cross-chain compatible decentralized apps. To show off the abilities of the Koii network, the team demonstrated Atomic NFTs. By using Koii nodes, which can bring web data onto the Koii blockchain, NFTs on the network can react to different metrics such as how many users view it. In the presentation, a flower NFT changed its state as more users viewed it, fully blooming when enough attention was focused on it. Using Koii’s Finnie wallet, users can import their NFT collections from MetaMask or OpenSea, letting them permanently store the NFT images on Koii using Arweave. 

The second project preview was from Synchrony, an on-chain copy trading protocol deploying on Solana. “Copy trading” involves copying the trades of a leader in the space, and in this case it’s an automated service that copies trades a leader makes to a user’s own account. By providing this service on-chain, Synchrony is developing trustless copy trading. Users can define the parameters for copy trades to execute and decide which assets they wish to copy trade, affording a high degree of control. In addition to copy trading, Synchrony also allows users to create their own indexes composed of assets, other indexes, or even user wallets. 

The final project presentation came from Thorswap, a decentralized cross-chain swapping platform. Thorswap offers one-step cross-chain swaps without wrapping assets or going through a centralized exchange. As all decentralized exchanges need high levels of liquidity to function efficiently, users can also deposit native Layer 1 assets to earn yield on Thorswap. Users will be able to connect all their existing wallets to the platform to easily swap across different chains without giving up custody of their assets. 

Industry Experts Lead Panel Discussions

The event also saw several panel discussions.

The first panel focused on interoperability in the crypto space and featured Yearn Finance creator Andre Cronje, ThorChain technical lead Chad Barraford, Moonbeam CEO Derek Yoo, and Jump Trading director of special projects Hendrik Hofstadt.

Cronje kicked things off by outlining his view that the multi-chain crypto landscape is similar to where Ethereum was in 2017 to 2018. He explained that while infrastructure is being built and deployed, the true potential of multi-chain interoperability has not yet been realized. 

The group then discussed how liquidity mining has brought users to various Layer 1 chains but was perhaps falling out of favor as it failed to generate long-term value. This led to the discussion that interoperability means more than just token transfers, with additional applications such as cross-chain price information and data hosting being equally important. 

Lastly, the cohort put forward their views on the future of interoperability in the crypto space, with ThorChain’s Barraford highlighting the need for a multi-chain wallet. Cronje also added that improved user experience would likely be a priority if more users are to start engaging with multiple cryptocurrencies as an interoperable network. 

In the second discussion, Solana Labs CEO Anatoly Yakovenko, Jump Trading director of strategic investments Kanav Kariya, Multicoin Capital managing partner Tushar Jain, and Synchrony founder Andrew Fraser talked about bringing traditional financial players into the world of decentralized finance. 

While Solana’s Tuesday network outage overshadowed the discussion, the group also focused on what sets the chain apart from its competitors. Solana’s high fidelity data streams and ability to handle up to 65,000 transactions per second allow it to support existing traditional financial services without a loss of functionality. 

Additionally, Fraser pointed out that the user experience in traditional finance products is still superior to anything in DeFi so far, citing slow transactions and high gas fees on Ethereum as problems. He went on to say that Solana is in a great position to address these issues, allow greater financial inclusion in DeFi for smaller investors. 

Finally, the group discussed how NFTs could play a role in onboarding traditional financial services, explaining how their use for recording insurance, medical records, or on-chain identities could improve current off-chain solutions. 

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Sanctor Turbo Demo Day

The final panel explored how NFTs are redefining art, economics, and value. It featured Arweave co-founder Sam Williams, Animoca Brands CEO Robby Yung, NFT artist and photographer Kevin Abosch, and Koii Network founder Al Morris. 

The discussion started with moderator Jon Rice asking the group if they thought NFTs were in a bubble. Opinions were mixed, with Williams answering yes, but with the caveat that bubbles are a natural part of any new revolutionary market force. On the other hand, Yung disagreed, pointing out that people have always bought expensive things publicly to show off their wealth, sharing the view that NFTs are just a continuation of this trend. 

The cohort also speculated on the future of the NFT space, exploring the idea that non-fungible assets are forming a new standard of information. With the integration of data storage chains like Arweave, art can more reliably survive the test of time. Williams views an enduring record as especially important, stating that better ideas can be generated when people have more access to old ideas. 

Another possible direction for the future of art came from Yung, who talked about the idea that NFTs are open assets. Current NFTs have the capacity to spawn entire derivative ecosystems around them if enough people are interested in making it happen. The recent craze of Loot NFTs exemplifies this idea, showing that the value of NFT technology extends far beyond the ownership of a digital asset. 

Overall, Sanctor Demo Day was a huge success, highlighting the work of projects in the Sanctor Turbo program, and allowing developers from the up-and-coming projects to discuss ideas with experts in the crypto industry. The next demo day will happen in the coming months, with texts available on the Sanctor Capital website.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing this feature, the author owned BTC, ETH, and several other cryptocurrencies. Andre Cronje is an equity holder in Crypto Briefing. Some of the equity-holders in Sanctor Capital also hold equity in Crypto Briefing. Han Kao is the former CEO of Crypto Briefing.

This news was brought to you by Phemex, our preferred Derivatives Partner.


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Crypto Venture Firm Sanctor Capital Announces Launch

Key Takeaways

  • Sanctor Capital, an investment management firm focused on the crypto space, has launched.
  • The fund will provide capital and mentoring to crypto entrepreneurs.
  • Sanctor Capital’s partners include Crypto Briefing’s founder and early team members.

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The team behind Sanctor Capital hopes to empower the next generation of crypto builders. 

Sanctor Capital Details Mission 

The blockchain and cryptocurrency industry is getting a new investment management firm. 

Sanctor Capital launched this week, detailing its plans to become “a sanctuary for the crypto founder.” In a Tuesday blog post, the fund explained its mission to accelerate growth in the crypto industry by providing investment and mentorship opportunities to early stage startups building for the future of the space. 

The firm’s partners have long been at the forefront of crypto, most notably shaping Crypto Briefing’s early years. Han Kao, a serial entrepreneur who founded Crypto Briefing in 2017, is joined by Ilya Abugov (former Head of Research) and Jay Putera (former Director of Business Development, partner) for the venture. 

In the announcement of the launch, Abugov shared the firm’s vision for the future of the industry, and how Sanctor Capital intends to play a part. He explained that crypto is now moving towards real-world utility and therefore needs a network of mentors that can help those building new products today. 

Forecasting The Future of Crypto 

The announcement also discussed how scalability, interoperability, and decentralization will “be big themes” that set the foundations of the industry for the coming years. It noted that blockchain seems to be moving towards “a multi-chain universe” and that connectivity between centralized and decentralized applications will need to improve to achieve mass adoption. 

It also projected further growth in the DeFi space, remarking that the current total value locked is “just the Proof-of-Concept stage for the sector,” and that innovations like uncollateralized lending would likely gain traction in the future. Web3 gaming in the metaverse, decentralized social media, and tokenization in the creator economy were also highlighted as some of the industry’s most disruptive innovations. 

The announcement concluded with a callout to blockchain founders: 

“ What’s important for us is that the project has missionary founders and a daring idea. We are looking for technologies that alter markets and are ready to bring the full strength of our network to support these endeavors. If this sounds like you, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are eager to help.”

Disclosure: Han Kao, Ilya Abugov, and Jay Putera founded and held management positions at Crypto Briefing. Some of them own equity in the company. 

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