Binance co-founder Yi He will take over Binance Labs, the crypto powerhouse’s multibillion-dollar venture capital arm, the company said Wednesday.
The move came as the world’s biggest crypto exchange is increasingly aggressive in its pursuit of investment opportunities, even as the industry is reeling from a collapse in asset prices.
Binance Labs is one of the largest VC investors in crypto, managing $7.5 billion in total assets covering more than 200 portfolio projects, the company said.
"This is the perfect moment for Yi to take on a larger role in Labs as this market presents an unparalleled opportunity to identify those projects with the tenacity to thrive in tough market conditions,” Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said in a statement.
Yi, a former TV anchor, has kept a low profile as Binance's co-founder, only recently granting what City AM billed as her first English-language interview. She downplayed her ambitions then, saying Zhao was the better figurehead for the company. But her new role will raise her profile in the venture capital and crypto worlds.
The cryptocurrency market has shed about $2 trillion in value over the past eight months, leading to big layoffs and bankruptcies. But Binance has been one of the major crypto players to continue growing. The company announced recently that it had 2,000 job openings.
Binance Labs also said last month that it closed a $500 million investment fund for blockchain and Web3 projects.
Other venture capital firms are also raising large funds to invest in crypto. Andreessen Horowitz, one of the earliest traditional VCs to bet on crypto, raised a $4.5 billion fund in May.