Web3 Investor Day: Still a Hot Ticket, Even in a Down Market

Daniel Guenther
3 min readAug 16, 2023
Midjourney: a little bit of sizzle on a cold ice cube

I was quite excited to attend the 2nd Annual Decasonic Web3 Investor Day event on July 20th in Chicago. Web3 Investor Day was an exclusive, invitation-only one day conference that brings together a select group of prominent capital allocators, family offices, endowments, venture investors and innovators who are at the forefront of the Web3 industry.

I was curious to see who would still attend a Web3 event in a massively down market exacerbated by the fall of FTX. I was also interested in learning how the investor community is thinking about measuring success in Web3, and whether founders are still excited about building businesses powered by Web3 technologies.

Event Summary — Still a hot ticket but thankfully not as hot as AI

I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. The event was well-attended, with a packed house of investors, founders, Fortune 500 enterprises, and crypto quant traders. The atmosphere was exciting and optimistic while realistic about the current maturity of the market. There was a clear sense that the long-term potential of Web3 remains strong and an appreciation that the unhelpful euphoria and hype has moved from web3 to AI.

In terms of measuring success, investors are focused on how a startup is measuring and growing user adoption (as opposed to token value). They are also taking a more cautious approach, given the current state of the market. Investors are looking for companies with a clear path to revenue and profitability and are measuring that path via user adoption. Investors are still willing to invest in the space but the volatility of the space means they would like to keep their individual investments small.

As a founder looking to raise capital you must be able to answer where is your user adoption and be prepared to defend why given the many emerging technology opportunities an investor should invest in web3 and your company.

Spotlight on web3 Loyalty

The reinvention and advancement of loyalty programs powered by web3 technology has been a core thesis of mine. I really enjoyed listening to Andy Sack of Forum3 — the power behind Starbucks Odyssey Web3 program — talk about their experiences enabling Starbucks with web3 loyalty. In his talk Andy shares on why Web3 and how next generation loyalty and economics convinced Starbucks this was worth pursuing. However, it was what Andy said next that validated my thesis. I have met with clients who have over 15 completely different, unintegrated loyalty platforms around the globe today. Web3 loyalty provides a framework for interoperability that can allow an organization to standardize while increasing global flexibility and agility to tailor loyalty programs and rewards. Andy confirms Starbucks is now seeing the potential this offers.

While Web3 based loyalty platforms can offer very new experiences to collaborate and reward a brands fans — especially when integrated with geolocation and AR/VR the interoperability and enterprise cost takeout is becoming a gimme if I use golf terms to pursue.

Additionally, I also met the Founders of Flaunt — a web3 loyalty platform focused on making a web3 loyalty program simple to set up and use for both enterprises and more importantly their customers. Really smart founders with a great demo and a significant number of interested customers — and I love seeing this innovation coming out of the Midwest.

Speaking of the Midwest — the Chicago innovation talk was fantastic at explaining why companies should look to Chicago and the Midwest as their home.

In Summary

In summary — it was great to see much of the unhelpful euphoria and hype has come out of the space while not diminishing the potential of web3 and its founders to find value as opposed to speculation within the Internet of Ownership.

If I can be of help to you whether you are an investor, a start-up or Fortune 500 to make sense of this space — Please visit my website to contact me.

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Daniel Guenther

Founder - Rockhopper Ice Collective, Former Technology Innovation Managing Director @ Accenture