At CV VC our mission is to build the pre-eminent early stage investment company focused on blockchain technology with premier deal flow and a superior value proposition for start-ups through our “ecosystem business approach”. Our vision through such an ecosystem approach is to be more than just smart money, but contribute additional value to the startups we invest in.
We are fortunate that the same can be said about a number of equity investors we could welcome to CV VC AG in our early capital raising rounds.
We have first met Consensus Capital through our joint network in the blockchain investment space and soon discovered how their vision and ours matches. We have already benefited greatly from their international network and will certainly continue to do so in the years ahead. Their approach to “investing in people” truly resonates with us, as does their approach to team up interesting people and projects for greater social and financial impact.
David and Matti are true entrepreneurs and as such understand what we are about, as well as the opportunities and challenges we are facing as a young company investing in even younger startups in an emerging industry.
You’re joining the CV VC ecosystem as an investor. What’s the rationale behind that decision?
CV VC is a well-known and respected venture capital firm in Switzerland that goes far beyond just financially contributing to the local (and global!) blockchain ecosystem. For us it is a strategic investment in Zug to become part of the renowned Crypto Valley blockchain community without having to setup something on our own.
What do you like about CV VC’s approach towards investments and the ecosystem?
We are really impressed by how well they’re connected, not just in blockchain, investors, or startups but also with the government, politicians, regulators. Additionally, CV VC as a company and the people behind it bring in not just the crypto crowd, but also investors from more traditional fields, who are interested in exploring blockchain opportunities, but are looking for a strong and experienced partner to do that with.
What is Consensus Capital’s investment strategy in general?
Make these type of strategic investments, not just in Zug but similar investments in other parts of the world (US, UK) so as to get a better view of the deal flow in the space.
We invest in interesting people more than we invest in interesting companies.
We want people who bring on more than just the project they re working on at the moment. Also, we look for projects where we can contribute beyond money. If there’s nothing we can give more than money — then . we’re not interested.
Has the investment strategy of Consensus Capital changed over the last year?
Yes, it was over the last year that we decided to come in heavily in the blockchain scene and we constantly take new learnings and market developments into consideration before making new investment decisions.
So, what is it that you look for before making the decision to invest?
Of course, companies have to cover the basics, but after that we really look at the team, once again: What matters is the team and personalities behind the projects. Then we look if there is something we can contribute to beyond money. Do they need help meeting the right officials? Can we support them with recruitment decisions? Are they in need of support regarding expansion strategies?
Which red flags would you never ignore?
Financials and the financial team have to be solid. Or to put it in some more specific words: If you don’t know how to value your company — then you’re not investment worthy. Additionally, it is important to us to see passion in the people building the project and product. If you’re not passionate about what you do, then how will anybody else ever be?
Which are the most exciting markets to invest in at the moment?
Good question ! Right now, everybody would probably say the emerging markets and Asia are exciting places to invest –but we’re not exactly there yet, so we’re still trusting the US, UK and Europe.
What’s your assessment of the state of the blockchain industry at the moment?
The space is definitely growing up, but it is still somewhat immature. Considering we’re talking about blockchain, which is based on consensus… however there seems to be a lack of consensus of what is the best way to move forward. (Just look at all the different ways to raise money — ICO? STO? No one agrees on the best option) Also, we’re still trying to find the best use-cases for blockchain, there are still many interesting projects who label themselves blockchain/crypto just to get more publicity. So we’re still waiting to see the big use-cases from corporates and when we see this coming out, we’ll be in a different place.
Matti Liukas | CEO of Consensus Capital
Matti has over 15 years of experience in digital innovation and IT Management. With a background in Industrial Management from Helsinki Technical School, Matti boasts a wealth of experience on the technical side as well as in relationship management and business development.
Matti creates sparks as an ecosystem builder, who fosters collaboration with R&D partners/academic institutions and who is passionate about guiding tech teams at any stage in their development. Matti actively contributes to the management of the companies in which the Consensus Capital invests, while also shaping the minds of MBA students at the University of Lausanne as a visiting professor. Matti’s role in companies such as Capgemini and Adecco place him in the heart of the innovative entrepreneurship space. This allows him to use his experience for identifying and managing new investments using disruptive and emerging technologies, like blockchain, to influence and drive the adoption of real solutions.
I feel that by working closely with teams that are developing great ideas, I am also enabling positive impact in people’s lives. We work with people, not projects, and that’s why it is important for us to partner with like-minded people that really want to see technology work for all of us. One of our priorities is to be actively involved in the global blockchain community that shapes the tech industry.
David Branch | Chairman of Consensus Capital
David is a serial entrepreneur with all the technical know-how of a science geek and growth hacker. Having founded several companies in different verticals, he has acquired extensive experience as a business leader in global software solutions development. Now founder and Chairman of Consensus Capital, David’s mix of entrepreneurial and corporate experience — with focus on compliance and contingent workforce management — places him as an esteemed unicorn hunter in the technology space. Taking advantage of consumer trends, as well as looking at areas where trends have not yet set, made him a natural early adopter of Bitcoin and Ethereum and early investor in recognized blockchain projects. He continues to ignite seed investments, targeting projects that are unconventional and embrace alternative solutions to everyday problems.
David has a rich history of intersecting high-tech with financial services and trust markets. The future points at applying emerging technologies such as AI and Blockchain to create an online space that allows flexible workforce movement, based on required capabilities within the boundaries of local labor conditions.
As an entrepreneur, I believe in creating a place where companies can gain access to a diverse expertise and experience that will help them ignite their strategic footing to innovate in areas that are not always seen as obvious investments.