But it’s still long-term focused. People sometimes ask me, “Well, couldn’t I just go buy tokens myself?” Whether that’s Ethereum, whether that’s Solana … I’m talking about making investments in ecosystems. It’s not enough anymore to just show up and make an investment. You’ve got to actively participate in the governance of these protocols.
The other thing that I think isn’t widely appreciated about tokens is that a lot of them start out as not subject to dilution. Whereas with equity investments, you get diluted between a seed round or series A round or an exit. So just in terms of your question about owning tokens, we just think that tokens are really a new business model of the Web3 ecosystem.
So you mentioned earlier that part of your positioning as a true, crypto-native fund is that you want to appeal to entrepreneurs because some entrepreneurs have their choice of VCs they can go to. The capital is flowing. But why would Web3 entrepreneurs actually need VCs?
And if Web3 is all about the power of the masses, and decentralization, I’m wondering how real that proposition is, given that the space is already centralized around a small number of power players and gatekeepers.
I think decentralization and centralization exist on a spectrum. Like I said, a lot of these founders don’t need venture capital investors. They can go to different funding sources, and frankly, a lot of them could self-fund for some period of time.
But a founder recently said to me, “We’re not talking to venture capital firms for this round,” and I said, “Well, why are you talking to us?” And his comment was, “Because you’re not a venture capital firm. You’re a venture contributor.”
What does that mean?
That means that we’re doing more than just bringing capital. If you think of the first era of venture, it was just capital. And by the way, there are still some venture capitalists where the model is just to give capital. Then there’s a second era of venture capital investing, and it was capital plus services. What we’re doing is we’re going a step further and we’re contributing to the project.
We also look to drive system change, which is more than just bridge-building between projects in the Web3 ecosystem and regulators and policymakers. It’s also folks in the media industry, it’s folks in academia, it’s researchers … We’ve seen Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook all start talking about what they’re going to do in the Web3 and crypto space. So I think building bridges between those communities and driving system change is one way in which we expect to be venture contributors.
It just seems there are at least two disparate conversations about Web3 that are happening right now. And one is about entrepreneurs building this new version of the web from the ground up, they’re bootstrapping new applications and ideas for the web … and then it feels like there’s this land grab or power grab that’s happening on the money side, where the same players as before are saying, How can we get in early? How can we get our returns?