Kraken, the fourth-largest crypto exchange by volume, announced the launch of Kraken Ventures, a new fund that will invest between $250,000 to $3 million in early-stage crypto startups.

Kraken Ventures, which will operate as an independent fund, will be led by former head of corporate development at Kraken, Brandon Gath. Startups selected will receive funding ranging from $250,000 to $3 million, Kraken told CoinDesk.

The fund will invest in technologies in areas like fintech, crypto protocols, decentralized finance (defi), artificial intelligence, machine learning, regulatory technology and cybersecurity.

Kraken is a global investment operation with a presence in Austin, Berlin, Hong Kong, London, New York, and San Francisco. Their team will provide necessary resources and access to blockchain developers to all incoming teams to help power their internal innovation and creativity as well.

“As we enter the crypto industry’s next growth phase, Kraken Ventures will support entrepreneurs in making the financial system more open, inclusive, and transparent,” said Jesse Powell, CEO of Kraken, “We’ve arrived at the point where crypto is starting to show its true potential, transforming the financial services industry and creating truly global, digital economies.”

In February, 2019, Kraken disclosed in an interview with Fortune that they completed a $100 million funding round, led by its largest customers. In September, 2020, Kraken made headlines again by becoming the first crypto exchange in the United States to also become a bank. As a state-chartered bank, Kraken now has a regulatory passport into other states without having to deal state-by-state compliance plans. According to the Wyoming Division of Banking’s general counsel, Kraken will also be the first newly chartered bank in the state of Wyoming since 2006.

Kraken invested $150,000 into several Ethereum projects as part of its partnership with open-source software firm Gitcoin last December. In the past, the exchange has also donated over $500,000 to Bitcoin projects. "Ethereum and DeFi are built on open-source software. With their generous contribution, Kraken is excited to give back to the volunteer developers building the infrastructure of the crypto economy,” said Kevin Owocki, CEO of Gitcoin.

Kraken, with the legal name Payward Inc, was founded in Jul 28, 2011, and is headquarteded in San Francisco. In the last 24 hours, their trading volume is $2.3 billion and they have handled over 1.4 million trades.