I invest in Seed and Series A rounds in fintech, security, crypto and developer productivity. I help startups with intros to customers, investors and thinking through engineering and product strategy. I’m particularly interested in companies in these areas:
Defense Against the Dark Arts
Once upon a time making money by being evil online meant going after big companies. Today, you can make more by going after people. Taking over someone’s online accounts nets you hundreds of dollars or millions with the right targets. I’m interested in startups that protect people against social engineering attacks and make things like 2fa and account recovery easy.
Big financial companies pass up billion dollar opportunities all the time because they misprice risk. VC-backed startups with millions of dollars in the bank found it hard to get a credit card until Brex came along. The trick is to find a better risk model that aligns the incentives of the risk takers and lenders. I’m interested in startups that can do this in credit, lending and insurance.
People underestimate how big crypto will be, but overestimate how fast we will get there. DeFi will displace centralized networks and capture trillions of dollars in value. But this will happen slowly, and over many app-infrastructure cycles. I’m interested in crypto companies with clear unit economics that can stay profitable through cycles.
The world needs more builders and we can’t produce them fast enough. The next best thing is to reduce the barrier to becoming a builder or to give builders more leverage. Datadog makes engineers productive by making instrumentation simple. Waldo lets you automate mobile testing without engineers. Product teams will pay a lot for tools that let them hire less and create more.
Universities are in for a tough time. COVID-19 will push an already struggling industry into decline as students and teachers opt out. A university is place where you learn job skills, earn a badge, find an alumni network, meet friends and partners, match with employers, find cheap living space and communities that share your interests. Each piece will become unbundled as people find their own path out of secondary education and into the world. I’m interested in companies that are going after any part of this stack for people early in their careers.
Hiring Across Borders
It’s difficult and expensive to hire people in other countries unless you’re a Fortune 500 company. The compliance, legal and financial overhead is large. Most startups end up hiring within their own countries. As remote work becomes the norm, this isn’t going to cut it anymore. Companies will want to find reasonable, turn-key solutions to tap into the global talent pool and will look for the next generation Seqouia One or Trinet.
If you’re building something in any of these areas, let’s talk. The best way to reach me is through a warm intro. The next best way is through Telegram or Twitter.