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ParaFi Capital-backed Crypto Venture Capital Firm Prepping Launch, Sources Say


blockworks.co 18 January 2022 21:01, UTC
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A former family office executive and a veteran volatility trader are raising capital for a hybrid crypto-focused venture capital fund that would invest in early-stage liquid and illiquid plays, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Stephen Moskowitz and Anthony Merriman are aiming to raise at least $25 million for their Pyxis Capital, with a launch slated for the end of the first quarter or beginning of the second quarter, sources said. 

Blockchain-focused investment firm ParaFi Capital, which ran about $1 billion of assets under management at year-end 2021, is backing Pyxis as an anchor investment, the sources said.

The firm has a number of other strategic investors coming in, according to sources, and also plans to make additional hires. 

Sources were granted anonymity to discuss sensitive business dealings. Moskowitz and Merriman declined to comment.

The goal is to raise at least $25 million for Pyxis’ flagship vehicle, and indications are the first raise has been oversubscribed. The firm plans to cap capital contributions at $40 million.

Pyxis plans to invest in early-stage tokens, back nascent crypto startups and do a smaller amount of directional, hedge-fund-like trading of liquid cryptocurrencies.

Merriman, Pyxis’ chief investment officer, has Wall Street and crypto experience, having previously worked for firms including AQR Capital, Morgan Stanley and Celsius. He oversaw a crypto portfolio of about $200 million at Celsius. 

Moskowitz, the firm’s chief operating officer and president, most recently worked for an undisclosed family office in the New York area, where he built out the firm’s crypto lending business — including closing a $20 million secured loan to crypto miner Bitfarms. He also worked on investing in liquid tokens and vetting crypto funds.

He previously spent time at firms including Morgan Stanley, FocusPoint Private Capital and Champlain Advisors. He’s an investor in crypto businesses including BlockFi and Gemini. 

Moskowitz and Merriman first met in 2017, when they kicked around the idea of starting a fund. The two have deep experience in crypto, with the former getting into the space in 2016 and the latter in 2013.

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