Miami continues to be a magnet for crypto companies, venture funds and finance firms, service firms and conferences, with excitement over NFTs driving much of the recent action.
Today, Meta4 Capital joined in with its own announcement. The Miami-based cryptocurrency-focused investment management company announced the launch of its first fund, Meta4 NFT Fund I, a vehicle that will buy rare non-fungible tokens. The investment firm also announced a prominent lead investor.
Riding the wave of explosive interest and growth in all things NFT, the fund, co-founded by Managing Partners Brandon Buchanan and Nabyl Charania, seeks to raise up to $100 million. It has commitments so far for about a quarter of that, and has begun deploying capital, Buchanan said in an interview. Significantly, it has secured a lead investment from Silicon Valley venture firm Andreessen Horowitz.
“NFTs are the driving force behind a new generation of internet products and services that are sharing value directly between the millions of developers, artists, collectors, and even gamers that participate — rather than platforms that simply act as a middleman. The Meta4 Capital team has a unique, proven pulse on the NFT market and across the web3 spectrum, and we’re thrilled to partner with them on this new fund,” said Arianna Simpson, a general partner with Andreessen Horowitz, in a statement.
The fund will invest in significant digital art and collectibles, such as Miami’s Bored Ape Yacht Club, gaming-related NFTs like Zed Run, and metaverse related purchases, such as virtual land. Buchanan says he knows of only two other funds with a similar focus on this emerging asset class and they aren’t in the U.S.
Buchanan is a Harvard law grad who previously ran an investment fund focused on cryptocurrency mining in New York, and before that was COO of tech venture firm Metamorphic Ventures and got his start in the financial world at Credit Suisse. He moved to Miami a year ago, lured by the city’s openness to tech and crypto, and teamed up with Charania, the chairman and co-founder of Rokk3r who was one of his early investors in one of Buchanan’s other ventures and both share an interest and expertise in the worlds of tech and art.
Because NFTs are a new asset class, Meta4 initially launched a pilot fund that acquired dozens of non-fungible tokens from various projects, including CryptoPunks, Bored Ape Yacht Club, Meebits, Gutter Cat Gang, Zed Run and Sandbox among others, Buchanan said. Andreessen Horowitz General Partners Marc Andreesen and Chris Dixon were investors in the pilot fund, Reuters reported.
“It probably won’t come as a surprise that our team is extremely excited about the potential of NFTS to reshape the Internet. We think NFTs with rare properties will be big part of illuminating the composability and functionality of the medium,” tweeted Simpson. “This is not about investing in cool looking pictures, or cultural memes, it is about investing in the future of the world’s economy & more importantly culture as it evolves across the physical world and combines with the metaverse,” tweeted Charania.
Miami appears to be a rising star in the decentralized world of crypto and NFTs, one of the reasons Buchanan wanted to base Meta4 in the Magic City.
“If I had to choose anywhere in the world to start a fund, it would have been in Miami. I think the mayor is doing a really nice job of attracting top tech talent and top tech companies in the fintech space and beyond,” said Buchanan, who also said he is bullish on Miami as a crypto hub, noting the recent momentum and major players already here. “My hope for our fund is that outside of making those investment that we’re able to contribute to the tech scene and art scene. I do anticipate us being a big part of both.”
This story was updated at 3pm. Follow @ndahlberg on Twitter and email her at [email protected]