Many investors follow trends, I prefer to anticipate them. I focus on technology-induced black swans, investing in the companies and founders that are creating them.
I identify companies with a high-probability of exponential upside. I invest either early or at their inflection point. You can expect startups primed for hyper-scale via deep innovation and product excellence.
I’ve followed this investment strategy over the years into a series of phenomenal companies, sectors, and investment returns.
I back founders
As a founder I understand the position deeply. With that I focus on aligning myself with the team, adding value wherever possible, and providing support through the process. I exert effort where I have leverage, allowing me to make substantial impact for the company.
Co-Founded Codewars, a community of 1M+ engineers (codewars.com)
Co-Founded Qualified, developer skills assessments, 360+ clients including Apple, GE, Accenture, Vimeo, Andela, Berkeley Center for AI (qualified.io)
Managing Partner of Synapse Capital, crypto asset investment fund (synapse.capital)
As an investor, I was early in Tesla (post IPO) at $22/share, after following the company since launch. Then on seeing an impending short squeeze invested my life savings on a call option strategy (direct stock ownership wouldn’t provide enough exposure). Within a week I returned 892%, which helped seed fund my company.
Began investing in crypto in 2012, early buys of Bitcoin and then later Ethereum. Went all in on Ethereum in 2015 seeing crypto evolving into a developer platform. Through 2017 I invested across emerging crypto assets, investing early in many top currencies - Cosmos, MakerDAO, 0X, Theta. With this I earned a portfolio return of 5,126% for the year, and protected those gains with a well-timed market exit.
In the process I’ve accumulated a list of investments that have returned 1,000%+ and have angel invested in a series of companies that I expect to create the next black swan technological shifts.
Markets I gravitate towards (at the moment):
Disruptive Networks, Developer Platforms, Crypto, Autonomy, FinTech, AI/ML, Education, Micromobility, Aerospace, Opensource Software, Data, Marketplaces, Ecosystems, Transportation, Real Estate, Energy
I love companies with:
- Product simplicity and focus
- Deep innovation
- Enormous niche markets
- Inherent user virality
- Founders that are insightful, hungry, and high-integrity
- Contrarian beliefs and approaches
- Unanticipated/underserved markets
- Network effects in their product/market
- Asymmetric risk/reward profiles
- Backend business models
- Platform models - enables others to build on them…bonus points if developer focused
- Marketplaces that take advantage of underutilized assets
You can expect high-quality, hard-to-access, early-mid stage deal flow. Syndication to also include later-stage follow-on allocations from the portfolio when available.
I relay updates when/if founders have them (don’t expect them). As a high-input/low maintenance investor, I expect the same from LPs.
I attempt to syndicate all startup deals given founders are agreeable and deal dynamics allow.
Disclaimer: I also manage a cryptocurrency fund, Synapse Capital. The fund gets first rights to crypto-related allocations. With that said, the fund is focused on crypto assets, which don't get syndicated through Angellist.