Binance has announced that co-founder Yi He will take over as head of its venture capital investing and incubator arm, Binance Labs. The operation has invested in over 200 projects in the blockchain space, and Binance says it manages assets totaling $7.5 billion (roughly Rs. 59,374 crore), making it one of the largest VC players in the industry. Yi said her vision is to drive future adoption of blockchain technology in Web 3 projects by “building the standard for the blockchain industry.”
The current bear market is the best time to invest in new projects, Yi said, and she intends to double Binance Labs’ personnel to 40 people. Fellow Binance co-founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao said current conditions present “an unparalleled opportunity to identify those projects with the tenacity to thrive in tough conditions.”
Yi echoed those comments by saying, “Part of the journey of seeing Binance grow, especially through tough market conditions, has been the ability to identify those founders that have the skills and embody the values needed to thrive in an environment where resources are more limited.”
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 appointment comes after Bill Qian, the former head of Binance Labs, resigned in June 2022. Qian was the second top-tier executive to resign from Binance in the last two months. Nicole Zhang, executive director of Binance Labs quit in May 2022. Both Qian and Zhang had joined Binance in March 2020.
Binance Labs has incubated some of the industry’s most successful projects, including Polygon, FTX, Certik, Nym, and Dune Analytics. According to a company statement, the VC firm has had a 2100 percent rate of return since its inception.
The VC firm recently closed a $500 million (roughly Rs. 3,875 crore) investment fund that includes participation from global institutional investors such as DST Global Partners and Breyer Capital.