Compound Finance Founder Combines Investments with Bain Capital and Ripple’s Xpring in “Scout Fund”
The cryptocurrency community has been waiting for the slew of institutional investors to enter the market, which is why so many developers are creating products that are geared towards them. As new companies enter the market, these companies need support, which is where Robert Leshner comes in.
Leshner, the founder of the Compound Finance crypto money market, has decided to help with the backing of new companies, bringing in institutional cash to do so. According to reports from CoinDesk, Leshner has decided to create a combined $1 million fund between himself, Bain Capital Ventures, and Ripple's Xpring. The funding will allow them to issue support to new companies with their project called Robot Ventures. Robot Ventures is meant to be a play on Leshner’s first name and a reminder that “robots will take our banking jobs as well,” as Leshner puts it.
In the tech world, the concept of a scout fund is still relatively new, and Leshner is not aware of anything along those lines that deal with cryptocurrency endeavors. Still, the individuals that operate these kinds of funds are fairly secretive, so there’s no way to really know if these scout funds are available in the crypto world without substantial publicity.
The main difference between scout funds and angel investors is the connection that they have to institutional funding, aiming to invest in other rounds later on. With an investment from this type of group, a new founder would have access to the individual entities that contributed to the fund as well. In this case, that would be Ripple's Xpring and Bain. Leshner commented that event with the total funding, each of the investments are “not large” at about $25,000 to $100,000 per check.
So far, Robot Ventures has already invested in two companies with their fund – Coinmine, a home-mining startup, and Point, a type of debit card that was only recently introduced. Leshner’s role as the founder allows him to take note of the latest trends involving crypto finance, and that he is able to identify with the younger founders.
Formerly, Bain acted as an investor with Compound Finance, which ultimately led them to Robot. Partner Salil Deshpande of Bain Capital Ventures commented that they have enjoyed “working with him and brainstorming about the sector” to the point that they’ve already setup Leshner as a small fund manager on AngelList.
Xpring, however, is new to investing in Leshner’s work. SVP of Xpring, Ethan Beard, said that the work that Robot Ventures is doing is “unique” and that Leshner is “a valuable resource for new founders” as they come into the financial and crypto world.