The top 10 Asian crypto hedge funds
ICOs and cryptocurrency exchanges may have been banned by Beijing, but that hasn’t stopped Asian investors and hedge fund managers from moving their crypto investments overseas. Results from the APAC region have been impressive, with Asian funds beating their “high signaling US peers” by a factor of 20 in Q1 2019, according to Hong Kong-based financial services firm Spartan Capital.
Results like those have spurred regional interest in the crypto asset class – even with the long bear market and China’s intervention. While enthusiasm for crypto investment has yet to surge in markets known for being more traditional and cautious, a movement supported by Asian family offices, private banks and high-net-worth individuals has been behind the launch of numerous hedge funds designed to tap growing demand.
Most of the larger funds have offices in cryptocurrency capitals like San Francisco and Singapore, it’s perhaps not surprising that many of the companies they’ve backed hail from these cities as well. Several companies are held in common by all the big funds, with names like Zilliqa, Eximchain, OmiseGO, Aelf, and VeChain recurring on their portfolios.
The following list covers the major crypto and blockchain hedge funds in the Asian region. I’ve not attempted to rank them in this article but would definitely suggest the following funds as a starting point for your research.
Hong Kong-based Kenetic is a proprietary trading and investment firm focused on digital assets and blockchain related companies. The firm’s proprietary investment portfolio saw impressive returns in 2018 – 77 percent gains in a period where Bitcoin lost 50 percent and most altcoins were losing as much as 80 and 95% of their value.
One of the higher-profile names on this list, San Francisco and Beijing-based FBG counts Vincent Zhou as one of its founding partners – considered one of the most connected and successful hedge fund managers in Asia – famously growing $20 million into $200 million in less than a year. FBG Capital’s portfolio includes Zilliqa, Aelf, Nebulas and Eximchain.
With offices in both Silicon Valley and Shanghai, Draper Dragon is run by veteran investment manager Bobby Chao and includes Silicon Valley legend Tim Draper as a limited partner. Portfolio companies include Verse, VeChain, Ledger, and Aelf network. The firm’s crypto portfolio fund claimed returns of close to 1000 per cent in 2018.
Neo Global Capital
Singapore-based Neo Global Capital’s crypto portfolio includes Ontology, a distributed trust collaboration platform, and smart contract platform Zilliqa. Helmed by a seasoned panel of investors including Tony Tao, a former secretary general of NEO claimed returns of up to 730 percent for investors last year.
Singapore-based Swiss-Asia is a $10 million USD hedge fund targeting ‘risk prone’ Asian high-net-worth individuals who don’t currently have crypto investments, family offices, and funds of funds – but not institutional investors. The fund focuses its investments on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrency derivatives. The firm claims investors in the fund can expect a 35% annual return.
Seoul-based #HASHED maintains a portfolio stuffed with some of biggest names in crypto. Names on the #HASHED roster include EOS, Ethereum, Aelf, EXIMCHAIN, and Kyber Network. Led by entrepreneur Simon Kim, the fund claimed returns of up to 657 percent on its investments in 2018.
Advised by Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, Fenbushi Capital’s portfolio companies include Circle, cryptocurrency and blockchain asset payment enabler TenX, and open source crypto protocol ZCash. The firm claimed returns of 653 percent on its crypto portfolio last year.
Singapore-based Signum Capital claimed returns of 629 percent in 2018, on a portfolio which includes Aelf, OmiseGO, Eximchain, Zilliqa, Kyber Network, and TenX.
San Francisco-based Metropolis VC’s portfolio of companies include Zen protocol, IOST, and OmiseGO. Run by founding partner Bman Lee, the firm claimed returns of 572 percent on its portfolio last year.
While not technically an Asia-located fund, NYC-based Global Blockchain Innovative Capital (GBIC) is led by Chinese partners and focuses its investments on Asian blockchain companies. Founder Richard Lee and his partners have led the fund to returns of 516 percent on its portfolio, which includes IoTeX, ICON, Nebulas and Eximchain.