At AU21, supporting our portfolio companies through thick and thin is a fundamental tenet of our operations. We firmly believe that our unabating assistance is a significant factor as to why so many of the projects we supported have grown to become the most successful companies in blockchain. From companies like Polkadot, Polygon (Matic), and Elrond, to early investments in Binance and Huobi, we have enjoyed a unique vantage point over a variety of players in the space, and have had the privilege of funding dozens of companies that presently further the advancement of cryptocurrency and decentralization.
A common criticism of the newest class of “crypto-oriented” investment firms is that they do not have the long-term interests of their companies in mind, and instead seek to “cash out” their equity positions as quickly as possible when opportunities for liquidity arise. We do not consider ourselves a “crypto-oriented” investment firm in this regard. Our roots run deep in Silicon Valley and we admire Venture Capital firms like Kleiner Perkins, Sequoia Capital, and First Round for far surpassing their duties as investors, and becoming true partners that serve to drive the success of their portfolio companies.
While we do provide capital at the outset of our partnerships, we spend an extraordinary amount of time after the conclusion of fundraising in providing market guidance, establishing business strategy, developing legal frameworks, setting up key partnership introductions, and doing everything in our power to ensure that entrepreneurs have access to any possible resource they can utilize to elevate their business to the next level.
For the time being, market conditions remain poor, however with our experience as an investment firm that has operated in this sector since 2017 — with individual investments as early as 2015 — we are highly confident that valuations will rebound to reflect the true utility of cryptocurrencies in the near future. Put simply — Blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies underpin far too many practical applications for the market to ignore.
Recently, we were made aware of a statement from one of our portfolio companies, Xend Finance, which alleges that a few early investors dumped their $XEND tokens immediately following the conclusion of their lock-up period. In a bearish market, a sell order of this magnitude can be devastating to a company’s token price and affect the sentiment of contributors and supporters of the ecosystem. Given current market conditions, we have made the decision to retain all of our $XEND tokens, and will stake our allotment, in order to foster a healthier ecosystem. We based our decision on the fact that Xend Finance has accrued significant real-world adoption, which facilitates DeFi and stable savings opportunities to Credit Unions and individuals in economically unstable regions around the world.
We believe Xend Finance represents the new wave of crypto adoption in Africa and is the face of a continent that is at the forefront of advancing universal usage of cryptocurrency, particularly as many parts of the continent deal with failing local currencies. We are proud to be supporters of Xend Finance, Ugo, and his team.
In conclusion, we are in the business of making sound investments that generate long-term value for our investors, stakeholders, and the world at large. We are confident Xend Finance will assist us in this mission. We are always on the lookout for companies that can survive during a bear market, because it entails a focus on developing robust products that are able to retain high rates of growth, and will continue to support our portfolio companies in times of adversity.
Alexi Nedeltchev, Principal at AU21