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HK-based ProDigital Future Fund targets $100m to back Web 3.0 ventures: Report

Hong Kong-based ProDigital Future Fund is in the market raising $100 million to invest in digital asset startups, as the city is actively formulating its crypto regulation to attract industry players and talent.

The nascent fund led by Ben Ng, a venture partner at the Asian private equity (PE) firm SAIF Partners, and seasoned technology investor Curt Shi already secured capital commitments of at least $30 million, said Shi in an interview with Bloomberg.

ProDigital Future held the first close after a half-year fundraising period with Hong Kong’s financial services firm Sunwah Kingsway Capital Holdings Ltd and Golin International Group Ltd among its limited partners (LPs).

ProDigital Future could not be immediately reached for comments.

Its fundraising plan comes as Hong Kong is poised to launch new rules on virtual assets amid the city’s efforts to become Asia’s crypto hub while addressing investors’ concerns in the wake of FTX’s collapse last year.

Among some of the latest efforts, Hong Kong regulators are working on the introduction of a new licensing regime for operators of virtual asset trading platforms, which is seen by many as a major step by the city to recognise and facilitate retail trading of crypto assets in the market.

The city’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) launched a consultation paper on the proposed rules in February, with the new licensing regime expected to take effect on June 1.

Shi told Bloomberg that fundraising has been “relatively smooth”,  although investors have been cautious about deploying capital into new crypto projects. Many Hong Kong families interested in the digital economy participated in the vehicle. Some Chinese families investing in Australia and Singapore are also taking part in the fundraising, he said.

“I believe that Hong Kong will continue to have a certain degree of openness and flexibility,” said Shi. “While our portfolio and fund will embrace Hong Kong and its policies, we will continue to have a presence in Australia, Singapore, as well as in Europe and the US.”

The fund will invest in early-stage and developing ventures with a focus on technology firms with ties to China’s transition into Web 3.0, which refers to a potential next phase of the internet: a decentralised internet that runs on the record-keeping technology blockchain.

It has built a portfolio of six digital-asset projects, including Hong Kong-based metaverse company GigaSpace and Australia-based digital sports club One Future Football.

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