CF Private Equity is building a blockchain fund

CF Private Equity, which counts US endowments and foundations among its limited partners, is rolling out a blockchain-specific fund.

The firm, known as Commonfund Capital prior to a rebrand at the beginning of this year, has hinted at its crypto interests since 2018. 

But CF Private Equity, according to an SEC filing from the beginning of August, is preparing to launch what appears to be its first fully digital asset private equity venture.The move is perhaps the most telling indicator yet of the firm’s crypto ambitions. 

The fund, CF Blockchain Ventures LP, was designated on the filing as a private equity fund, not a venture capital fund. The firm oversees a mix of venture capital and private equity investments. 

The vehicle’s filing indicated an expected fundraise of $100 million, but it’s possible the disclosed figure only pertains to the fund’s first close. A spokesperson for the company declined to comment when reached.

The outlook for institutional crypto-related fundraising this year has been mixed. Spot digital asset markets have bounced back since the lows seen in 2022’s fourth quarter. Yet traditional financial institutions — mulling investments and preparing due diligence last year — opted to pause for extended periods.

In that context, the foray by Connecticut-based CF Private Equity represents a shift of sorts. The private equity affiliate, as well as its parent company, have for years invested in a mix of traditional real-world assets and equities.

When it comes to fundraising for CF Blockchain Ventures LP, the firm has tapped Commonfund Securities, a broker-dealer also under the auspices of its parent company, as well as a Japanese and a Chilean bank.  

CF Private Equity is a wholly owned subsidiary of Commonfund, an asset manager that also operates an outsourced chief investment officer service, designing customized portfolios and so-called funds of one for institutional investors. 

Commonfund got its start managing money for US nonprofits but has since expanded to working with sovereign wealth funds, for-profit pensions and family offices. 

The company invests capital in outside managers via its alternatives fund-of-funds setup. The private equity affiliate is led by president and CEO Mark Hoeing, who previously worked for Deutsche Bank. The business also engages in direct investing and co-investments, and it is active in the secondary market. 

CF Private Equity has booked approximately $22 billion of committed capital since its inception. 

According to its website, CF Private Equity has completed more than 10 blockchain investments since 2018 in a bid to “construct portfolios of high quality blockchain specialist managers.”

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