Recruit Holdings, the Japanese Internet and human resources firm
that owns Glassdoor and Indeed, has launched a US$25 million blockchain fund.
The establishment of RSP Blockchain Tech Fund, launched in
November 2018 and based in Singapore, was only made public this week with the announcement
of the fund’s investment in Beam.
The fund focuses on investing in blockchain startup companies
primarily from overseas, and will do deals in both tokens and equity.
“When we had an equity fund we weren’t as flexible as we
wanted to be,” Youngrok Kim, senior vice president of Recruit Strategic
Partners (RSP), told
TechCrunch in an interview this week. “We weren’t in a position to buy tokens
and assets. We will continue to have two vehicles, we will use the crypto fund
and the RSP fund in tandem as needed.”
Despite the so-called crypto winter, which saw the overall
token market capitalization loose roughly 80% of its value from its highs, Kim
sees ample reasons to operate a token-based fund.
“We still see a lot of ICOs, the relative number is smaller
but we still see a good amount of deal flow for token and equity raising. We
are positive with the outlook,” he said. “We’re a strong believer in blockchain
and decentralized technology.”
RSP Blockchain Tech Fund invested an undisclosed amount into
Beam earlier this year. The Israeli startup has created a Mimblewimble-based
“We seek to discover companies that will have a real impact
and society and where we can contribute as Recruit,” Kim said, adding that
there are currently a number of upcoming deals in the pipeline.
Recruit provides integrated human resource services and
operates through business segments that include HR technology, media and
solutions, and staffing.
Recruit joins the growing Japanese corporates that have
established crypto token funds.
Line Corp., the operator of Japan’s leading messaging app, launched
a US$10 million crypto fund called Unblock Ventures in July 2018. Line also operates
Bitbox, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Singapore.