Ant Group Announces Exit from Crypto Market, Pulls Out of $100 Million Fund
Ant Group is leaving the crypto market by selling its $100 million stake in A&T Capital due to recent uncertainties and changes.
Ant Group’s departure from the cryptocurrency market coincides with a notable decline in crypto venture funding, and a growing focus on AI technology.
Chinese fintech giant Ant Group is selling its stake in crypto-focused A&T Capital, a significant step back from its previous $100 million investment in the digital asset market. The news follows the resignation of A&T’s founding partner, Yu Jun, who formerly served as an executive at Ant Group and played an important role in establishing A&T for offshore crypto project investments.
A&T Capital, founded in April 2021 with major backing from Ant Group, invested in promising crypto startups, including digital-asset lender Matrixport and Ethereum software developer ConsenSys. However, recent developments within A&T, including the departure of Yu Jun and an internal workplace investigation into his conduct, have prompted uncertainty regarding the venture firm’s future.
It remains unclear whether A&T Capital will continue its operations independently or seek new investment partners.
Ant Group Exits Amidst Crypto Market Turbulence
Ant Group selling its stake in A&T aligns with a wider trend in crypto venture funding, which dropped significantly in the second quarter due to last year’s virtual asset turbulence and growing interest in AI in fintech.
Venture capital funding in the crypto market hit a record low in June, with just $520.1 million raised in 84 funding rounds, a 23.11% drop from May. The crypto fundraising landscape peaked in February, raising $947 million through 123 rounds, but has seen a consistent decline since then.
Two weeks ago, Ant Group unveiled a finance-focused AI model and began testing applications for consumers and professionals, marking its entry into China’s competitive AI market. Its AI model, including “Smart Wealth” (Zhixiaobao) and a tool for financial professionals called Zhixiaozhu, aims to provide financial advice and investment analysis. The company’s AI models are in closed testing, subject to China’s rigorous regulatory clearance procedures ensuring safety and compliance.
Ant Group’s exit from A&T Capital and focus on AI reflects its strategic adjustment to changing market dynamics.
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