Huobi Global, one of the largest trading platforms in the world by volume, has launched a new venture capital arm aimed at investing in upcoming blockchain, Web 3 and decentralised finance (DeFi) projects. The spinoff is called Ivy Blocks, and has over $1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,770 crore) in assets under management as part of its “war chest.” According to a statement issued by the company, this pool of funds will be directed towards “identifying and investing in promising blockchain projects.”

Ivy Blocks’ offerings through the fund won’t be limited to investments alone. The VC arm is also planning on setting up an asset management platform, a blockchain incubator, and a specialised research arm for blockchain initiatives. According to Huobi Global’s chief financial officer, Lily Zhang, the company’s asset management division would make “liquidity investments” to aid with the launch of the DeFi and Web 3 initiatives.

As per a press release announcing the new investment arm, Ivy Blocks will be providing three core services. To begin with, there will be a liquidity investment department providing an asset management platform for smart DeFi mining and income aggregation. The other two areas the VC firm wants to focus on from the get-go include a department called Ivy Labs, an innovative crypto and blockchain incubator; and Ivy Research, which focuses on blockchain and cryptocurrency research.

“Many promising projects tend to encounter liquidity constraints and a lack of go-to-market support, which present significant barriers to growth,” said Huobi Chief Financial Officer Lily Zhang in a statement. The new investment arm “will no doubt contribute towards creating a better, more inclusive DeFi and Web 3 blockchain ecosystem.”

Ivy Blocks also announced that Capricorn Finance, an automated market maker decentralised exchange (DEX) built on the Cube blockchain, was the first project to receive funding.

The firm’s focus on DeFi comes at a time when the sector’s overall value has declined by roughly two-thirds from its peak. When measured in total value locked, or TVL, the DeFi sector is currently worth just under $84 billion (roughly Rs. 6,52,535 crore), according to DeFi TVL aggregator DefiLlama. DeFi TVL peaked north of $252.4 billion (roughly Rs. 19,60,634 crore) in December 2021.