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Open Web Collective Announces Launch of OWC Ventures Following Spin-Out from NEAR Protocol

Updated: Sep 20, 2022

OWC named Jeff Lavoie, a seasoned investor with twenty years of experience at leading firms including PIMCO, Dyal Capital and CPP Investments, as Partner and Head of Investments.

OWC Partners Mildred Idada and Jeff Lavoie

September 19th, 9 am EST, 2022 – Open Web Collective (OWC), an early-stage blockchain and Web3 venture builder, today announced the launch of OWC Ventures, a new division aimed at investing in high-potential founders and startups.

With backing from Digital Currency Group and NEAR Foundation, OWC Ventures looks to further invest in the disruptive potential of blockchain, and fund the startups that will onboard the next billion users of Web3.

This new division is co-led by Jeff Lavoie, Head of Investments, who was recently named Partner at OWC and serves as a member of the fund’s Investment Committee.

Lavoie said, "I'm delighted to join OWC because it is a truly crypto-native team with deep tech expertise and a proven ability to not only find high-growth ventures and founders, but to also help them successfully scale and achieve incredible outcomes. Digital assets and blockchain technology represent a technology platform shift from Web2 to Web3, and a new investment paradigm that has the potential to provide the most asymmetric returns I've seen in my career.”

Lavoie brings twenty years of investment experience in technology and consumer companies and funds with him to OWC, and has been involved in the crypto community since its early days. His track record includes early investments in disruptors like Airbnb, Amazon, Block (fka Square), IQVIA and Skype. He also made early investments in several Layer-1 blockchain protocols and across Web3 infrastructure, developer tools, and consumer crypto startups.

OWC Founder and General Partner Mildred Idada said, “Jeff brings to the table years of experience working with large-scale investing institutions and building strategies across fund and deal investments that reflect the broad ambitions we have for OWC. With OWC Ventures, we're expanding our focus from acceleration to a suite of services that help push Web3 forward. Deploying capital strategically, in meaningful areas, is a huge part of our mission to add value to the space."

Prior to OWC, Lavoie held senior investment roles at Dyal Capital, PIMCO and CPP Investments, and he was recently Partner and Head of Asset Management at SP Capital, which he led from inception to its sale to PNC Bank. Jeff earned his B.S. in Business Administration from Queen’s University (Canada) and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Through OWC Ventures, Lavoie believes that OWC has the opportunity to help lay the foundation of an emerging, rapidly developing industry.

“Blockchain technology is on the precipice of reaching escape velocity along several vectors, including mass consumer and institutional adoption, setting new standards for financial innovation and becoming the base layer of technology that powers Web3,” said Lavoie.

Idada added, “OWC Ventures will focus on investing from pre-seed to series A, and supporting our founders as they grow. We’re excited to not only be the industry’s source of early-stage builders but to back a growing amount of opportunities in Web3.” Digital Currency Group is equally optimistic about OWC’s role in the space.

"We are excited about the launch of OWC Ventures. We look forward to continuing to partner with OWC as they create more ways for investors to provide strategic value-adds to their promising startups and ecosystem," said Matthew Beck, Director of Investments, Digital Currency Group.

In addition to OWC Ventures, OWC will continue to operate its accelerator, which has proven its ability to source and add value to early-stage crypto companies that become industry leaders. To best serve such companies, OWC employs a multidisciplinary team of experts to help fill knowledge gaps and bring together a consortium of best in class partners.

To learn more about OWC Ventures, contact:

About OWC

Open Web Collective (OWC) is a venture firm focused on blockchain and digital assets. Launched by and spun out of NEAR Protocol, OWC is deeply rooted within the crypto and blockchain ecosystem and is partnered with some of the industry’s leading Web3 companies and entrepreneurs.

OWC’s in-house accelerator helps founders validate, build, and de-risk companies by defining and growing key performance indicators (KPIs), developing product-market fit, and fundraising. OWC is a disciplined, high-conviction, crypto-native investor that has taken part in the origin story of, NYM Tech,, and more.

For general inquiries please contact:

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