We started Notation over four years ago with a really simple idea — That we could help technical founders at the very earliest stages build great companies in NYC. We believed (and still believe) that there’s no idea, person, product or market “too early” for us to want to invest our time and capital. And we still believe that the glory (and indeed returns) are reserved for those investors that stick their necks out before it’s obvious to do so.
We’ve stayed true to this mission, have raised two small funds to date, and after lots of weaving and ducking and failures and success and everything in between, believe we’re on the right path to building a unique venture capital firm in NYC. We’ve shared much of our journey to date through our fundraising decks, blog, podcast, and operating manual, and we hope by now that there’s a clear sense of who we are and what we do.
One idea that we considered years ago was that perhaps Notation would just be me and Alex in a little converted office in Cobble Hill…forever :-) As the saying goes: “If it ain’t broke…” But we’re also continually asking ourselves whether or not we’re on the most likely path to building the single best venture firm in NYC? Because that is what we strive to be, even in a highly competitive (and at times noisy) market. We believe Thomas Bailey puts us on this path, which is why we’re incredibly excited to welcome him as the newest investor on our team.
Why does Thomas make Notation better? Because his skill set and experiences are different than our own, but highly complementary. We met Thomas a year ago through our mutual interest in cryptocurrency mining (in which we all have active investments and operations), and where he serves as an investor and advisor to one of our most exciting portfolio companies, Bison Trails. One of the reasons we find the blockchain ecosystem so interesting is because it combines many different disciplines — cryptography and mathematics, open source software, economic theory and finance, governance, to name a few. Alex and I feel like we have the product and technical pieces covered, but Thomas adds important new areas of blockchain expertise, namely deep experience in assessing at-scale and liquid crypto networks, cryptoeconomic evaluation, and proof-of-work mining, having previously built out large scale mining operations that have spanned across the globe. He began his career at Perry Capital, and more recently graduated from GSB. Thomas is an angel investor in blockchain startups like Tagomi, Starkware, Bakkt, BitGo, and Bitmain, among others, and has developed deep relationships across the blockchain ecosystem, from New York to California to Europe, and is widely recognized as one of the sharpest (and humblest) investors in the space.
We’ve been active investors and participants in the blockchain ecosystem for many years now, and while Notation will always remain committed to our mission working with founders at the earliest stages, we also recognize the complexity and nuance and the very global nature of this new technology and asset class. So while we all consider ourselves generalists at Notation, investing across a number of technical areas of interest, Thomas will lead our blockchain efforts. He represents an important part of this next “phase” for our firm broadly — and we have several more exciting and related announcements to make in the months to come. Stay tuned :-)
Until then, welcome Thomas!!!!