What Venture Capitalists See Before Investing in Blockchain Startups?
The blockchain business is resurgent, with pioneering startups transforming finance, e-commerce, and a slew of other industries. As money pours into this ever-changing market, venture capital firms look for diamonds in the rough, looking to invest in tomorrow’s ideas. In this article, I meet with Charles Read, an angel investor who focuses on protocol investments and the Co-Founder of Rarestone Capital, a well-known blockchain venture capital firm. Charles has been a collector and investor in the DLT, DeFi (Decentralised Finance), and NFT industries throughout the years, finally going into Venture Capital to invest in and support the world’s most brilliant blockchain founders and project teams.
When asked about his approach in investing, Charles said – “I primarily support founders. Good founders can bounce back from setbacks, pivot when necessary, and usually emerge victorious on the other side. On the other hand, while I admit I’m not a technical analyst, I have a knack for reading people. My gut instinct has a high hit rate, which I hope doesn’t change anytime soon. When we invest as Rarestone, I make up for my shortcomings by assembling a fantastic team. We have a wide range of skills, are quite active, and as a group, we don’t have any flaws. That is something that not many people can say.”
With that in mind, I wanted to dig deeper into what makes Charles and the Rarestone Capital team want to invest in a blockchain project’s future development. Below is a list of Rarestone’s current investments, along with an explanation from Charles as to why they chose to support the projects’ teams.
Mask Network, dubbed “The Portal to the New, Open Internet,” is a “Bridge to Web3 for Web2 apps,” according to Charles. Twitter is a centralized application, yet we all use it; using Maskbook, you can interact with Web3 while using it. With Mask installed, anyone may now airdrop tokens to their Twitter followers or encrypt their tweets so that only Mask users can see them. When searching for a cashtag ($) on Mask Network, you’ll notice that Mask adds other capabilities to the Twitter interface, such as price tracking, exchange, and swapping straight through the popular decentralized exchange Uniswap.
According to Charles and the Rarestone team, the most appealing aspect of Mask Network is that it requires users to do little more than install a plug-in. It isn’t attempting to take over or replace Twitter but rather provide the user with additional layers of privacy and customizability and the opportunity to engage directly with Web3.
Aleph is a Web3 cloud computing and decentralized storage platform that enables blockchain-enabled applications to safely access trusted off-chain data or computation with just a few lines of code. Aleph was established from the ground up in a grassroots approach, with no outside funding other than OTC sales from the team. Almost every prominent ALEPH token holder, including Rarestone, who runs the Friends of Rarestone node, is a long-term supporter and node operator.
Nodes from well-known organizations such as Ubisoft’s Strategy Lab and Synaps, a decentralized identity company that handled KYC for Polkadot sales, support the initiative. According to Charles, Aleph has many possibilities for growth in the next few years, given its aggressive adoption and the success that projects like Filecoin have seen.
Smart contract APIs that are universally interoperable allows you to utilize any programming language with any protocol. Some protocols’ adoption has been skewed because they need unusual programming languages that few developers utilize. This problem is no longer an issue, thanks to Web3api. With famous judges such as Vitalik Buterin, Austin Griffith from the Ethereum Foundation, and others judging, the team celebrated a triumph at HackFS, an ETHGlobal hackathon focusing on strengthening the foundation for the Ethereum ecosystem. At the hackathon, the Web3API team received four honors. Balancer, Gnosis, Aragon, Metamask, and other protocols have been built by the technical team.
The token holders will control all financial choices, onboarding new developer teams, partners, and future authority over the Web3API standard, controlled by a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization). My research on this DAO gives me a lot of confidence because Web3 veterans designed it.
Antler Interactive created MNA, a PC game. Initially seen as a bit of an outlier in the area, the project flew under the radar and was mostly overlooked by the general public due to its amusing name and premise. I inquired as to why Charles and Rarestone chose to invest in the blockchain-based game.
Many individuals are yearning for companionship at this terrible time of lockdown and economic instability, and they are turning to games like Animal Crossing to connect with their pals. As Charles refers to them, these are web-spaces, and they mirror the new reality we’re going toward an open metaverse.
This is exploited throughout the game, and players are rewarded for their efforts. The world around you is player-owned and constructed in MNA. Every asset you use in the game is an NFT that you own, allowing you to fully control the experience. For Charles and Rarestone, investing in the project was a no-brainer, and Charles is now assisting the MNA team on product rollout, strategy, and marketing.
Biconomy is on a mission to make blockchain-based applications work seamlessly and conveniently for mainstream users, especially those new to the blockchain space, by providing powerful APIs that offer gas-efficient meta-transactions. The team behind the project created it with one mission in mind: making blockchain-based applications work seamlessly and conveniently for mainstream users, especially those new to the blockchain space.
Biconomy hopes to speed a Cambrian explosion of adoption by addressing the bottlenecks and impediments to access that have stifled the general expansion of the blockchain ecosystem thus far. Users do not even need to download digital wallets or acquire cryptocurrencies from exchanges with this innovative and fascinating site; the platform has automated the entire procedure for them.
Biconomy supports several well-known projects, including blockchain Matic (formerly Polygon), DeFi behemoth Curve Finance, and others, in addition to a solid team. As an angel investor in Biconomy and a close friend of the company’s founder, Ahmed Al-Balaghi, Charles believes the project is a perfect storm in the current market, with an overwhelming demand from other projects in the field eager to partner with Biconomy.