During London Bitcoin Week I took the opportunity to bring together a successful crypto entrepreneur, Nic Cary, founder of Blockchain.com and partner at Blockchain VC, Étienne Brunet former VC at Elwood Asset Management, and several current and aspiring entrepreneurs.
The event took place on February 4 2020 and attendees found it both interesting and useful. Below are some of the highlights:
- Nic Cary recalled that he and the founding members of Blockchain.com hustled for years without any income and without any investment
- If he could go back and do something different, he would have sought out external funding earlier.
- Accepting venture capital isn't for every business. If you need capital to grow quicker than your competitors then venture capital should be a consideration
- It is much easier to raise money if you have a business that either makes money or has a clear route to making money.
- Étienne Brunet was very clear that if you take money from investors, they expect to see rapid growth, quarter after quarter
- At present, exchanges are the only category of businesses that reliably make lots of money.
- Getting a divorce is probably easier than getting out of your commitments with a VC so only accept money once you truly believe you're getting a good deal with someone you can work with through bull and bear markets
- Find a VC that can offer you more than money - contacts within the industry, expert advice, etc
- When raising funds, spend as little cash as possible. An example of this is getting your legal team to forgo charging any fees in exchange for equity. In this scenario, everyone is incentivised towards the same goals.
- When asked how should entrepreneurs approach angel investors? Both Nic and Étienne agreed - attend events like this, attend conferences, and approach angel investors directly. According to Étienne angel investors are more accessible than you probably realise.
- Should we accept money from any investor that’s interested? Étienne made it very clear that you should only accept money from someone that truly believes in your project. When the price of bitcoin is sky high it's easy to get funding but you should really look for an investor that is committted to your startup and can offer you more than money.
- When asked whether there are other ways to raise money? Nic pointed out that crowdfunding worked well for Monzo. For consumer based products with a large user base, this is worth considering.
- No pictures were taken and the event was not filmed. I plan to host a similar event during London Bitcoin Week 2021. If you have any suggestions please contact me using the link in the navigation bar.