Boost VC is now investing directly into tokens / cryptocurrencies

In 2012, my partner Adam Draper was the first investor in Coinbase. When Coinbase was still only 1 founder — Brian Armstrong. I also bought my first Bitcoin at $27.

In 2013, we (Boost VC) were the first institutional investor to begin targeting Bitcoin companies to invest in (we had 7 Bitcoin companies in Tribe 2).

In 2014, I participated in the Ethereum crowdsale as all the accelerator companies in Tribe 4 were doing it — but we were still not convinced there would be more than Bitcoin.

In 2015, we began investing outside of just Bitcoin and looked into the blockchain more broadly and had done over 50 investments in Bitcoin/blockchain startups — https://www.boost.vc/blockchain-companies.

In 2016, we made the decision to start investing in Ethereum startups as I blogged here — made the first investment into Etherscan — and a short 3 months later wrote another blog post “Where are all the Ethereum startups.”

The problem we faced as a venture capital fund was there weren’t Ethereum startups. There were projects. Open source projects. With distributed teams. And what linked these together: TOKENS and CRYPTOCURRENCIES.

We saw this trend happening of using tokens to own value of various protocols and in 2016 we saw the emergence of new blockchains and protocols shown published by Nick Tomaino in The Control. Also USV published “Fat Protocols” which established the protocols would return much more value than the companies building on top as applications.

Around this same time I met Olaf Carlson-Wee, founder of Polychain, a cryptocurrency hedge fund. Because I was already convinced of this new trend I just needed to find the right person to implement the strategy and it is certainly Olaf. The next week I barely slept. I knew he was onto something and I wanted to be a part of it. That week we became one of the first investors in Polychain and wrote our largest check at the time from Boost VC.

Better to be lucky than good :)

Total Market Capitalization of all Cryptocurrencies

So now what?

In 2017, we want to continue adding fuel to the fire that is tokens and cryptocurrencies. Just recently I was quoted in Coindesk saying “Because our goal at Boost VC is to fund and accelerate cryptocurrency and blockchain founders, we are not trying to fight this new trend, we are ready to play our role.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for talented developers looking to build the next protocols of the internet. We are looking for entrepreneurs building the future of decentralized companies. Something the truly drives our investment thesis is following developer communities. Although this is still an extremely nascent space, I believe as Chris Dixon of A16Z said “What the smartest people do on the weekend is what everyone else will do during the week in ten years,” and I believe some of the smartest people in the world are working on blockchain technologies.

So we are looking for these people to tell us how they imagine the future and we want to provide early funding and resources to help them achieve it. A few things we are especially interested in are:

  1. Low level protocol stack to help build out decentralized internet which Coinbase founder Fred Ehrsam wrote about here
  2. Stable coins
  3. Tools to help run DAOs and OSS projects
  4. Governance models
  5. Email brayton(at)boost(dot)vc for what I am missing or should keep my eye on.

What can Boost VC provide?

Boost VC has the thesis of “Making Sci-Fi a Reality.” And as an investor in more than 180 companies and being deeply involved in blockchain technology for over 4 years we think we are uniquely qualified in supporting this emerging token ecosystem. We hope to provide founders:

  1. Funding— ($25–100k) to give runway to build out product before doing a token sale (we have been fearful of those who do a token sale with no code to show).
  2. Network — For over 4 years we have built out a blockchain specific network with over 100 blockchain founders in our portfolio, over 100 co-investors in our companies, and a number of corporates, developers and enthusiasts.
  3. Knowledge/Strategy —We have learned a lot in our 4 years working with blockchain companies and have seen what works and does not.
  4. Housing/Office Space — Although most decentralized projects usually also comprise of decentralized teams we think there is something to be said about working side by side in the early days of a project. Therefore we provide a place in Silicon Valley to live and work to focus on building.

We have already done one — Aragon — The decentralized app to run Blockchain organizations

We have done our first backing of this type already with a project called Aragon and we could not be more excited to support the founders Luis and Jorge. They have been building out Aragon for over 6 months now, have alpha testers of the real product, a slack community of over 1,000 and are set to do their token sale this Wednesday, May 17th — more info at — https://aragon.one/network.

And now we are looking for more!

Shoot me an email at brayton(at)boost(dot)vc to share your project. Finding a referral to us is always best. Help us share this to get the word out!

Although the excitement around tokens and cryptocurrencies is at an all time high, we know this is going to take time. We are in it for the long haul and feel privileged to be able to continue supporting the best entrepreneurs and developers in blockchain.