An ICO is Kickstarter & AngelList for great technical founders — at 100x the scale
I’ve been a big fan of Kickstarter and Indiegogo for years. They were great ways to help artists fund projects and for entrepreneurs to launch consumer projects. But they never progressed to a meaningful way to launch technology businesses. I was an investor in Bluesmart as an example, which raised $2mm in pre sales for their luggage and everyone thought that was crazy.
Then AngelList came along and companies were raising $100k, then $500k, then even $1–2mm in equity. My syndicate’s the largest at ~$7mm per deal — but was never able to actually deliver quite that much to any one company. But as it turns out with my syndicate partner Ramtin at AbstractVC I was able to invest in Brave — a privacy and speed obsessed browser company.
Brave did an ICO a couple weeks ago that has fundamentally changed the landscape for technology entrepreneurs. They launched a protocol (the brave attention token) which simply put is a new way for consumers and publishers to trade value for attention. The sale of this token was done online. Investors took Ethereum (ETH) and traded it for the new token (BAT). The sale wasn’t a success. It was a nuclear explosion in the world of startup financing strategies. Brave raised $36mm in 24 seconds, and as of today’s price of ETH, the value of their ETH has gone up roughly 50% to $54mm.
LET ME SAY THAT AGAIN. Brave sold tokens that do not give you any equity, debt or cashflow of the company — in exchange for $54mm in currency that can be easily and quickly converted to US$.
This is roughly 100x what a typical angelList syndicate can raise, and doesn’t involve the founder giving up any equity.
I’m deep into this as an investor in Brave and Ripple and investor in the Bancor ICO (these are the three most successful ICO’s to date and each raised more than the original Ethereum ICO launch) and I am helping entrepreneurs navigate and define new ideas that can be the next big ICO.
I’m looking for entrepreneurs and engineers that can help launch a number of new ideas leveraging the blockchain and participate in the biggest idea since the Internet. Reach out here: Gil@FB
If you’re a top technical talent at Paypal, Google, Facebook, Amazon and you are not immediately reaching out to me to learn more, you will NEVER be an entrepreneur. This is literally the gun going off at the start of the biggest race since they opened up the ARPANET and created the internet and the first runners (Coinbase, Ripple, Brave) are already running as hard as they can.