Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a famous venture capitalist firm known for supporting many companies in Silicon Valley, has started to venture into bitcoin startups. It has started a new seed fund called Edge Fund which aims to provide investments of $250,000 to help selected startups with development, programming and recruiting.
It has also added a bitcoin startup founder to its staff to help identify potential investment areas in emerging technologies including virtual reality, digital health and the blockchain. Roneil Rumburg, founder of the bitcoin and dogecoin transaction service Backslash, will be part of its staff along with former Google product manager Ruby Lee.
Funding for Bitcoin Startups
On Tuesday, the company announced a total of $4 million will be allotted to this seed fund and that it will also supply founders with an array of services, including technical programming help, recruiting and operational expertise.
This particular venture into bitcoin startups among other emerging technologies is brainchild of Kleiner Perkins partners Anjney Midha and Mike Abbott. “You want people who have backgrounds that are relevant and helpful,” said Abbott. “I don’t pretend to understand it, but you do want to get someone like Anjney.”
“I can’t think of any other group in venture capital doing this,” added Midha. This particular venture will offer bitcoin startups uncapped convertible notes, more or less debt that can be converted into common shares, which is an uncommon structure for VC firms. It it will not take standard common shares in the companies it backs.
Apart from that, the loans will not assign a valuation to a start-up, putting less pressure on founders when it comes time for their next fund-raising round. Companies can then choose to repay the loan or redeem the convertible notes in stock at the valuation during the next funding round, avoiding any dilution for the company founders and other employees.