Ex-Genesis execs claimed they raised millions for crypto hedge fund just as former company neared bankruptcy

Simply weeks earlier than crypto lender Genesis filed for bankruptcy, three former workers of the corporate claimed they’d secured thousands and thousands of {dollars} for a brand new crypto hedge fund, in accordance with correspondence seen by CNBC.

Matt Ballensweig, who left Genesis in September after greater than 5 years on the agency, despatched a message to a potential investor in mid-December, concerning a fund he was beginning known as Searching Hill Digital. Ballensweig stated he had already secured $2.5 million from Bessemer Enterprise Companions at a $30 million post-money valuation, and wrote within the message that he and his companions had been within the strategy of elevating one other $5 million.

Bessemer instructed CNBC in an e-mail that they aren’t an investor in Searching Hill Digital.

The fund’s “flagship product” would go dwell within the first quarter of 2023, the message stated.

Different companions within the fund would come with Martin Garcia, who spent greater than six years at Genesis, and Reed Werbitt, Genesis’ former head of buying and selling, the message stated. Werbitt, Garcia, and Ballensweig all left Genesis across the identical time in 2022.

Genesis, which is owned by Barry Silbert’s Digital Forex Group, filed for bankruptcy safety on Thursday, the most recent casualty within the business contagion brought on by the collapse of crypto alternate FTX in November. In its chapter submitting, Genesis listed over 100,000 collectors, with mixture liabilities starting from $1.2 billion to $11 billion {dollars}.

Ballensweig was named in authorized filings surrounding the implosion of Genesis’ lending ebook. Gemini, a crypto alternate and main Genesis consumer, accused Ballensweig of falsely reassuring Gemini in July that Genesis was financially secure. Gemini claimed that Ballensweig instructed its representatives that Genesis had “capital to function… for the long run,” in accordance with court docket filings.

Ballensweig didn’t reply to a request for touch upon the allegations made towards him by Gemini or on his latest capital elevate.

Ballensweig spent his ultimate 9 months at Genesis as managing director and co-head of buying and selling and lending.

The ex-Genesis workers teamed up with Adam Guren from hedge fund Searching Hill, Ballensweig stated. Searching Hill is a $718 million hedge fund, which launched in 2010 and moved into digital asset investing in 2020 with a crypto opportunities fund.

Searching Hill didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Ballensweig pitched the flagship product as an “alpha multistrat (delta impartial),” or a fund specializing in multi-strategy, low-risk, high-return investments. He added that the trio would additionally launch two different beta merchandise together with a “High 25 Index” and a “DeFi beta.”

“Suppose you would be a beneficial early companion,” Ballensweig stated in his pitch.

Ballensweig is not the one Genesis alum looking for to launch a fund. Roshun Patel, a former vice chairman at Genesis who left the corporate in March after nearly 4 years, was raising cash for a brand new fund in mid-2022. CNBC reached out to Garcia, Werbitt and Patel for touch upon their raises however didn’t instantly hear again.

WATCH: Crypto lender Genesis files for bankruptcy


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