The endowment arm of Yale University has invested in a new $400 million digital asset fund managed by Paradigm, according to an anonymous source cited by Bloomberg.
A venture fund set up by Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam, Paradigm’s investments focus principally on cryptocurrency exchange startups, early-stage alt-coins and new blockchain projects.
ATTRACTION FOR INSTITUTIONAL INVESTORS
Yale University’s endowment fund is valued at just under $30 billion but the exact sum invested in the Paradigm project is as yet undisclosed.
The endowment is managed by David Swensen who started at Yale in 1985 and has been referred to in the university’s alumni magazine as Yale’s “in-house Warren Buffett.”
According to Bloomberg, “U.S. college endowments hold about $550 billion in assets, and Yale has the second largest in higher education, behind Harvard. Under Swensen’s leadership, Yale has returned 11.8 percent on average for the past 20 years.”
The Ivy League school has a reputation for taking diverse investment strategies that have previously included Puerto Rican bonds and New Hampshire timber. Around 60% of Yale’s current assets are earmarked for alternative investments including venture capital, hedge funds and leveraged buyouts.
The move is another sign in recent weeks of institutional investors stepping into the crypto-currency space just as retail investment interest appears to be dropping off.
This is the second foray into blockchain assets this year for Yale as they previously committed another undisclosed sum to venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz’s dedicated $300m cryptocurrency fund, managed by Katie Haun, a former U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) federal prosecutor who also currently serves on the board of directors at Coinbase.