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Billionaire Wall Street Titan Henry Kravis Places First-Ever Crypto Bet

Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:37 PM
Benjamin Vitáris
Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:37 PM

Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) Co-Founder Henry Kravis has decided to try his luck with cryptocurrencies. He follows in the steps of other finance hotshots such as Alan Howard, Louis Bacon, and Peter Thiel, who have all got involved in crypto.

Joining the Ranks of Investor Legends

Last year, CCN.com reported that Howard – co-founder of Brevan Howard Asset Management – has hired at least one employee to help the billionaire in managing substantial crypto investments.

While the firm has not purchased or traded any cryptocurrencies itself, Brevan Howard’s partners had invested in cryptoassets with the asset management company looking to enter the ICO market as well as funding blockchain startups.

Peter Thiel, the co-founder of PayPal and early investor of numerous tech companies like Facebook and Spotify, has been a long-time bitcoin bull.

Peter Thiel
Billionaire tech mogul Peter Thiel has been a longstanding bitcoin advocate. | Source: Heisenberg Media/Flickr

Thiel – along with Howard and Moore Capital Management founder Louis Bacon –  also invested in Block.one, the organization managing EOS, that has recently returned jaw-dropping profits to its early investors.

ParaFi’s Crypto Fund Attracting High-profile Investors

Ben Forman, a former KKR employee and the founder and chief investment officer of ParaFi Capital, told Bloomberg  that Kravis had invested to his San Francisco-based company’s flagship crypto fund.

“In the high-yield markets, I used to fight to outperform the index by tens of basis points. Crypto, on the other hand, due to its nascency, offers a tremendous amount of alpha to active managers.”

ParaFi’s founder stated that his company currently manages $25 million and aims to reach $100 million by Q1 2020.

Forman worked at KKR for three years, covering credit business and debts investments as well as leading the firm’s in-house blockchain and crypto research team.

“While I toyed with the idea of pursuing blockchain investing within KKR, it was clear to me that the firm did not provide the optimal format to do so. Instead of pursuing crypto at KKR, I wanted to build the KKR of crypto,” he said.

ParaFi has attracted a number of investors to its crypto fund that includes Bain Capital Ventures and Dragonfly Capital Partners. The two companies have also invested in ParaFi’s management firm.

“[Some liquid crypto assets] present asymmetric return opportunities. [ParaFi is] well positioned to capitalize on some misunderstood investment opportunities,” Salil Deshpande, a partner at Bain Capital Ventures, said.

Who is Henry Kravis?

Kravis worked at various jobs in New York before he and his cousin, George R. Roberts, joined the former global investment bank, Bear Stearns. They met Jerome Kohlberg there who was the duo’s corporate finance manager at Bear Stearns.

Later on, the three formed KKR in 1976, a firm that had a net income of almost $800 million in 2017. KKR is best known  for orchestrating RJR Nabisco’s $25 billion buyout and taking the utility firm TXU private with two other organizations in a $45 billion buyout in 2007.

Forbes lists Kravis as the world’s 317th richest person with a real-time net worth of $5.7 billion.