A Kiwi investment fund is betting on decentralised finance, seeding the launch of Galaxy Digital’s new DeFi Index fund.

NZ Funds, a wealth manager with $2 billion in assets under management, is seeing the launch of the Galaxy DeFi Index Fund, which aims to offer institutional investors easy DeFi exposure.

As of August 1, the index consisted of 40 per cent exposure to Uniswap, 18 per cent to Aave, 12.7 per cent to Maker and 10 per cent to Compound.

It also had smaller investments in Yearn.Finance, Synthetix, Sushi, 0x and Uma.

“The constituents represented in DEFI are selected based on institutional trading and custody readiness in the United States, as well as quality of pricing,” Galaxy said, adding that it would re-evaluate the constituents of the index on a monthly basis.

“Galaxy continues to pioneer inroads for institutions seeking exposure to the innovation happening within the crypto ecosystem,” said Steve Kurz, head of asset management at Galaxy Digital.

“The blockchain-based infrastructure behind DeFi is maturing at an accelerating rate and clear examples of how this new technology can disrupt financial services are emerging in real-time. Our unique DeFi Index Fund provides investors with institutional-grade exposure to the future of financial services.”

NZ Fund’s chief investment officer James Grigor told Stuff in March that it had invested five per cent of its NZ$350 million KiwiSaver (retirement) growth portfolio in Bitcoin.

But NZ Fund’s fund’s most recent portfolio disclosure document said that as of July 20, it was short cryptocurrency futures in several of its different funds.

Stockhead has reached out to Grigor and will update this story if he responds.

a16z invests in play-to-earn gaming guild

The token that powers a crypto gaming guild is soaring after a closely watched venture capital firm took a stake in it.

Netspace co-founder Marc Andreessen’s Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) led the US$4.6 million investment round in Yield Guild Games, a Filipino-based 48,000-member gaming guild that makes money from play-to-earn games such as Axie Infinity.

Kingsway Capital, Infinity Venture Crypto, Atelier Ventures joined the capital raising, as did gaming entrepreneur Gabriel Leydon, the founder of the company behind popular games Game of War: Fire Age and Mobile Strike.

The funding will be used to continue YGG’s investment in digital assets in games and virtual worlds across the play-to-earn ecosystem.

YGG has provided over 4,700 “scholarships” to Axie Infinity players, letting them borrow yield-generating in-game items under a revenue-sharing model. This lets scholars, often from poorer countries, to begin earning an income from game-play without having to invest any model upfront.

So far, Axie players have earned 43 million in Smooth Love Potions tokens – US$8.6 million, at current value.

“The intersection of crypto and gaming is one of the most exciting areas in tech today,” said Arianna Simpson,  Andreessen Horowitz general partner.

“YGG is at the center of play-to-earn, a new model that marks a meaningful evolution in gaming economies, where more of the value is retained by the players and community, rather than the gaming platforms.

“Thanks to the vision and dedication of the YGG team, this paradigm shift is growing quickly –– yet we think we’re just starting to glimpse what’s possible in this realm. We’re thrilled to partner with YGG to support the community and help accelerate the adoption of play-to-earn games.”

It’s the first time a16z has invested in a Filipino-led startup. 

The Yield Guild Games token was up 38.2 per cent to an all-time high of US$7.91 this morning following the investment.

The token grants holders rewards from gaming raids, sponsorships, yield from treasury assets (in-game items) and other means.