Monday, January 10, 2022

Bank-backed group launches blockchain fund

The group behind a large fintech fund has completed a separate effort to invest in blockchain projects.

JAM Special Opportunity Ventures, an affiliate of Jacobs Asset Management, and FINTOP Capital said in a press release Monday that their JAM FINTOP Blockchain fund had raised about $110 million. The fund has more commitments that scale up to $30 million as its nears a $200 million cap. 

The fund will initially focus on infrastructure to help regulated financial institutions compliantly operate blockchain-powered applications in areas such as lending, payments and exchanges. 

“Over the next decade, we believe blockchain will become the dominant operating infrastructure of the financial system and look forward to helping our network of regulated banks, brokers and fintechs develop the competency and dexterity to be early adopters of this transformational technology,” Ryan Zacharia, general partner of JAM Special Opportunity Ventures, said in the release. 

Financial institutions investing in the fund became members of the JAM FINTOP Network, which includes 79 banks with $1 trillion of combined assets.

Strategic lead investors include Figure Technologies, Amerant Bancorp, Atlantic Union Bankshares, Banner Corp., ConnectOne Bancorp, FB Financial, First Horizon, New York Community Bancorp, OceanFirst Financial, Piper Sandler, Simmons First National, Synovus Financial, Sterling Bancorp and Umpqua Holdings. 

Mike Cagney, Figure’s CEO, is a strategic adviser to the fund and will lead the JAM FINTOP blockchain committee. Piper Sandler’s digital assets group will also serve as a strategic adviser. 

JAM FINTOP Banktech raised $150 million last April to help accelerate technology adoption at community banks. The fund invested in Boston fintech Monit last fall.

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