VC firm Tribe Capital raises $25M to launch crypto incubator program

As capital continues to enter the crypto space, Tribe Capital has launched its incubator program Tribe Crypto Labs, which has raised $25 million from outside investors, its CEO Arjun Sethi exclusively told TechCrunch.

The firm has approximately $1.5 billion in assets under management and has previously made investments in crypto companies like crypto exchanges FTX and Kraken and blockchains like Cosmos and Frax. Crypto represents about 30% of the firm’s assets, as it traditionally invests across early-, mid- and late-stage companies, but last year decided they wanted to try something new.

“We saw the chance to take a more proactive approach and started thinking about an incubation strategy,” Sethi said. The incubation program aims to collaborate with crypto developers, while using its team’s tech and ops background to create and accelerate early-stage investment opportunities in the crypto space, he added.

“That all said, we’re going to be cautious about moving deliberately,” Sethi noted. “We expect to get our first two projects off the ground first, and then bring forth about one project per year from here.”

The program will form partnerships, joint ventures and other decentralized initiatives through the Cosmos ecosystem as well as on layer-1 blockchains like Avalanche and Solana, Sethi shared. As it scales and rolls out additional incubations, it plans to raise $5 million to $10 million for each additional project, Sethi added.

Its first incubation is a financial derivatives protocol and layer-1 blockchain Nibiru, which aims to enable perpetual futures and options trading within the Cosmos ecosystem. The second incubation is with CoverRe, a consumer auto insurance company that its partners have been investing in since 2016.

Although crypto markets have been shaky recently, this hasn’t deterred the team from launching the program -- or raising capital, Sethi said. “We believe that in 5-10 years, crypto and DeFi will have taken a large piece of market share in global financial services while also massively growing the pie for such services.”

“No matter the asset class, we are long-term, patient investors,” Sethi said. “That means we build in both bull markets and bear markets. We build in anticipation for the next bull market, and also for the one after that, and after that.”