Investment Firms WisdomTree, Arca, and Susquehanna Bet Big on Web3

Investment Firms WisdomTree, Arca, and Susquehanna Bet Big on Web3

Major investment funds and asset managers in WisdomTree, Arca, and Susquehanna have made large recent investments in Web3 companies, as highlighted by The Block.

Their investments range from blockchain-enabled funds to intellectual property protocols, and to decentralized sports prediction markets.

WisdomTree Launches Nine Blockchain-enabled Funds

WisdomTree has officially launched nine new funds focused on blockchain finance and how it can improve the investor experience. This brings their total Web3 funds to ten, as their Treasury Digital Fund launched in September.

"We believe that blockchain-enabled finance has the potential to improve the investor experience through enhanced liquidity, transparency, and standardization," said WisdomTree Head of Digital Assets Will Peck in a company statement. "[And] these nine digital funds are setting the foundation as we seek to bridge the gap between traditional finance and digital finance today."

WisdomTree also plans to launch a digital wallet in the first quarter of 2023.

Arca Invests in Web3 IP Protocol Spaceport

Spaceport has raised $3.6M in a pre-seed round led by Arca and other investors as they build out their Web3 intellectual property protocol. Spaceport's goal is to help creators and brands monetize their IP, acknowledging that it is very difficult to do so today.

The company's first application Spaceport Core helps creators to make their work Web3-compatible and then puts it in front of a catalog of brands to hopefully land licensing deals or contracts. 

"You can think of it as like a multi-stack solution solving the entire licensing process," said Le Zhang, co-founder, and CEO of Spaceport, in an interview with The Block.

The protocol leverages Ethereum-based smart contracts, but they have plans to expand into other compatible chains such as Polygon.

Zhang had an interesting and different comment about their decision to use blockchain technology for Spaceport.

"I think unlike a lot of other folks in this space that saw an opportunity within web3, we saw an opportunity in the real world and web3 was just the best solution to solve it."

The funds from the pre-seed raise will be used for hiring and product development.

Susquehanna Bets Big on Decentralized Sports Prediction Market Frontrunner

Frontrunner just raised $4.75M in a seed round led by Susquehanna to build out their decentralized sports prediction market.

Frontrunner's plan is to let individuals buy and sell shares of teams or players, instead of the traditional betting markets based on odds. For example, a bettor may buy one share of France to win the World Cup for $0.40 and get paid out $1 if they win (numbers are made up for example purposes).

The idea behind making it decentralized was driven by avoiding situations where the house always wins. In a PvP (player vs player) model, there is no built-in advantage and there are equal opportunities to "win."

When asked about Susquehanna's investment, co-founder and CEO Neil Zhang acknowledged the investment firm's desire to bet more on Web3 and crypto.

“They're basically looking to get more exposure to both web3 and cryptocurrency and also to be able to get more liquidity and more capital into sports betting,” Zhang said. “And so, there's even the potential in the future for potentially having Susquehanna be a market maker or liquidity providers on our platform, which is such an exciting prospect for us in terms of really making this into a fully-fledged liquid market system.” 

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