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Castle Island, a16z Partners Back Escape Velocity’s $25 Million Fund

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Mahesh Ramakrishnan and Salvador Gala, two 27-year-old Goldman Sachs alumni, have raised $25 million for their crypto-focused venture firm's first fund. 

Known as Escape Velocity, the Boston-based firm started fundraising in June last year, when many crypto VCs were licking their wounds from the collapse of the Terra ecosystem.

The pair already have $25 million in hard commitments but the total raised could go up to a $30 million cap before the fund officially closes in the coming weeks, Ramakrishnan said in an interview. Backing comes from founders from several top tier venture institutions such as Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), Castle Island Ventures and Framework Ventures — as well as senior partners from Apollo Global Management, where Ramakrishnan previously worked.

The new fund seeks to invest in early-stage projects that are either decentralizing networks such as wireless and energy or providing tools to enable this transition. Check sizes will be anywhere between $250,000 to $1 million, with the funds being deployed over the course of three years, Ramakrishnan said. About a third of the cash is reserved for follow-on investments. 

(By Kari McMahon)

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