San Francisco-based Kraken Ventures, the independent investment fund backed by Kraken Digital Asset Exchange, that's targeting early-stage companies and protocols across the crypto and fintech ecosystems has announced the appointment of Laurens De Poorter as its first European Partner. The move signals the firm's dedication to the European market.
And perhaps with good reason, as according to Coincub survey, Europe took the fourth slot when it comes to leading the crypto race, however, the study points out that slots number two and three, Oceana and the Middle East, respectively, both ecosystems have far fewer countries to skew their ranking scores.
When it comes to Europe, the continent has a significantly higher number of relevant countries contributing to its overall scores, each with its own thoughts, progress, laws, and opinions on the adoption of crypto adoption, coupled with the most established financial sectors and governments each looking to proceed at different speeds and with lesser or greater degrees of enthusiasm.
However the case, De Poorter and Co. aren't getting sidetracked by just any and all numbers.
"The crypto community and the developer communities working in crypto are very large and thriving in Europe," De Poorter told me in an interview. "There's a lot of innovation coming from Europe; Ledger, Aave, etc.. There are a lot of new startups, new innovations, emerging from Europe, and my promotion recognises the fact that we as a team really see the opportunity to have boots on the ground and do more deals in Europe."
While crypto's headline grabs of late haven't always been, shall we say flattering to the industry as a whole, and has a branding problem of being nothing short of a wild west, in a post-bull run world De Poorter's seemingly conservative outlook on investments not only falls in line with what and where Kraken Ventures wants to be but also one that is not only able to weather the storm but ultimately might be one that delivers the greatest returns.
"In the case of FTX, it was not the result of the failure of crypto, it was a case of corporate malfeasance. For us at Kraken Ventures, it underlines the importance of doing proper diligence, and we feel like a lot of VCs haven't necessarily done proper diligence when investing nine-figure sums," said De Poorter.
"While we saw very clear innovation, we also saw the other investors were perhaps overexcited and pushed valuations to unreasonable heights. We remained focused mostly on B2B infrastructure that is more in the backend of crypto and fintech companies that a lot of other investors may have found boring."
Before Joining Kraken Ventures in 2021 De Poorter served as Vice President at London's Dawn Capital and spent just shy of four years working with The Boston Consulting Group. Since calling Kraken Ventures home, De Poorter has led investments in 13 companies, including Kin, CLST, and Sprinque.
And while he couldn't/wouldn't reveal any numbers, during our interview De Poorter hinted that in the coming months, we should expect to see an announcement of a new fund. As a reminder, Kraken Ventures' freshman fund was announced on 17 December of 2021 at $65 million.