When we announced “A new venture firm called BlueYard” in January 2016, we set out to build a thesis driven firm that would take a view on the world and the forces shaping markets and societies for us to invest around. A firm that would stay focused on right-sized early stage funds, with a small partnership and tightly knit team to deploy capital into early stage contrarian investments. We also committed to not changing that in any future fund.
So today we are announcing we have raised our second fund — and it should therefore come as no surprise that it is essentially “same size ($120 million), same team, same thesis, same strategy, same LPs”.
But where has BlueYard 1 taken us? And where might BlueYard 2 go? When we began imagining BlueYard in summer of 2015, the original thesis was “democratising technologies” — what we meant were technologies that would distribute capabilities, level the playing field, open markets. Over time the thesis refined to “the decentralization of markets, the empowerment of users and the liberation of data.” Here’s where our thesis has taken us:
The creation of a new web-stack…
….based on open-source p2p protocols using cryptographic design and incentive structures to enable a decentralized web that could untangle the current server side / data monopolies and create a new entrepreneurial platform. E.g. Protocol Labs / IPFS, Filecoin, ZeppelinOS, Open Source Coin, Textile, OB1 / OpenBazaar
The untangling of financial services by stale / monolithic banking institutions and the “separation of state and money”…
…through p2p / open networks, the liberation of data and transparent, algorithmic and programmable money — allowing for open access to the financial system and competition between currencies based on transparency, governance, monetary policies and programmability / usability. E.g. Decred, AirTM, Centrifuge, SpaceKnow
The unbundling of the knowledge worker stack…
… by creating best in class vertical tools that openly integrate with the web and empower users vs being stuck in monopolistic bundle-ware office suites — limited to captive data / software integrations. E.g. Pitch, StdLib, Vectary
… where the intersection of biology, data and algorithms can dramatically increase efficiency (e.g. through data: Centrifuge, SpaceKnow) or create entirely new technologies / platforms for the resources humanity needs (e.g. for an animal free economy, Meatable).
The portfolio is located in Amsterdam, Berlin, Bratislava, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Palo Alto, Prague, San Francisco, Stockholm, Warsaw, and with many teams operating with decentralized global teams and no HQ.
Whereas we remain focused on our thesis, we are agnostic as to specific technologies that can help achieve our thesis and what verticals they are applied to. So we continue to spend time learning and evolving our views on anything from how quantum computing can, via quantum chemistry simulations (fertilizers, catalytic converters, electric batteries, etc), help us use the planet’s resources better, what operating systems for life and the future of manufacturing, engineering and medicine could look like, to how AI/ML can enhance and threaten human capabilities at the same time — amongst a range of other topics. Learning and keeping an open mind regarding entrepreneurial opportunities will remain at the core of our DNA.
Building BlueYard has been a team sport — we feel fortunate to work with an incredible group of founders, Limited Partners and co-investors, and we will continue to work very hard to be a good partner for our entire ecosystem.
If this sounds exciting to you — why not join our team? We are currently looking to expand with the following roles:
- Two Analyst positions to help us think about and navigate new technologies and market development
- One “head of platform” that can connect the BlueYard portfolio family, harness its collective capabilities through best practices / information sharing, manage relationships with service providers / vendors, help run our meet-ups and coaching events & much more
If you are interested in joining our small team based out of a backyard in Kreuzberg, Berlin — drop us a note and your CV to email@example.com.