Striking Markets runs an investment syndicate focused on early stage companies in FinTech, blockchain, entertainment and the creator economy.
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Looking for operating expertise, funding or access to deals?
I'm a founder & operator turned investor, building a venture portfolio of promising technology companies.
Together with my syndicates (where my network invests alongside me), I invest in the pre-seed & seed stages, with initial tickets up to $100K. Besides money, I bring 10+ years of entrepreneurial expertise and a network of domain experts in blockchain, finance, music and tech.
Why invest in startups?
I've been fascinated by businesses since my early adulthood. Companies are part of the fabric of society and can be great forces for good. The innovation resulting from entrepreneurship has contributed to the continuous improvement in quality of life for the average person globally (see life expectancy, poverty).
Throughout 10+ years of entrepreneurship I've learned how to be an operator. And in the past 6 years I've learned how to be an investor. Most of my investing was in public markets, but I'm increasingly involved with start-ups. I have found it to be a great way to help people realize their dreams and put my experience to use.
Areas of interest
- Blockchain: decentralized finance (DeFi), infrastructure
- Future of finance: increasing access, education, transparency
- Future of work: creator economy, empowering communities
- Future of play: entertainment technology, gaming
- E-Commerce & Marketplaces
- B2B & B2C SaaS
Select guiding beliefs
- First-time and small business entrepreneurship will continue to grow with education, tooling and ways to monetize a community.
- Micro-communities are changing social life. Where people with esoteric interests (e.g. kimchi) used to be "the only girl in the village", they are now finding their spouses and best friends in a Discord chat. These niches can be served profitably and such communities can seed endless opportunities.
- Remote work is ever-important, despite the COVID back-to-work trend. I believe this will result in labour being more borderless.
- The gig-economy will grow. People want flexibility and autonomy over their work life. Freelance work will continue to grow in popularity and more people will do multiple jobs at once and side-hustle.
- Hotspot cities are valuable, but not critical. I've built my businesses outside of hubs, instead practicing thoughtful remote (and largely asynchronous) work and traveling regularly to maintain relationships. While the network effects of hubs are great, the competition and cost is off-putting and founders outside of hubs aren't sufficiently recognized and supported.
- The average person and especially women are financially under-educated and lack access to the best financial products. There's a taboo on speaking about money. Few of us were taught finance - and us young people need it more than ever. The future of finance is more democratized, but must come with education and thoughtful governance. DeFi can be the bedrock.
- Pseudonymity / anonymity seen in blockchain results in a focus on substance rather than background/appearance. Anon founders are investable as long as they dox privately.
Why let me invest?
- 10+ years of operating expertise in the music industry. Bootstrapped 3 businesses to millions in revenue. Developed bedroom artists to global fame, most notably electronic artist San Holo. Grew Heroic & bitbird teams to >20 in staff. Traveled globally, learned about culture and consumer behaviour globally. Exited in 2022 with sale of Heroic catalog to focus on investing full-time.
- 6+ years of public market investing with a specialization in FinTech, Gaming, E-Commerce & SaaS. Broad understanding of sectors, business models, competitive landscape.
- Founded blockchain investment DAO, syndicate and advisory. Our members have combined tens of years of blockchain experience, and include fund managers, traders and builders. We've got a growing presence on crypto Twitter (30K+ combined followers).
- My non-blockchain syndicate co-investors include founders and investors, primarily from the entertainment and technology sectors. Lots of operating expertise and network to tap.
- I won't ask for a board seat and am proactive with suggestions and connections. My goal is to have a high helpfulness to ticket size ratio.
What I look for in investments?
- Asset light business model
- Founding teams, not individuals
- Technical co-founder
- Initial traction: you've already built something, found users, generated revenue
I'm in the good company of these awesome startups.