The moderator for this VC funding panel discussion is James Ryan, VP of Marketing of GammaX. Panelists include Sarah Gottwald, Managing Director of Blockchain Founders Group (BFG), Chia Jeng Yang, Investor at Pantera Capital, Pierre Chuzeville, Investor at Lattice Fund, and Alexis Kricorian, Director of Digital Corporate Finance at NodeGate.
Will Investor Sentiment Improve or Deteriorate in 2023?
Pierre thinks that this year is going to be tough for crypto companies to raise funds. Alexis also acknowledges the difficulty due to macroeconomic factors and the industry crisis. He believes that as builders create more real-world asset-based blockchain technology and investors shift towards long-term opportunities, the situation might improve.
Sarah also agrees that VCs might be more hesitant to invest this year. As a startup, it’s thus important to reach out to several investors. However, she believes that there is still a lot of money in the market, and at some point, people will start investing again, potentially in crypto and Web3. Therefore, surviving the next few months is crucial for startups to have a chance at funding in the future.
What Specific Areas Will Potentially Grow in the Crypto Space?
Chia Jeng states that there is a huge opportunity to take down incumbent players in the crypto space, as many have suffered losses and are not in the best position to continue being market leaders.
Sarah and James both think that regenerative finance (Refi) space, particularly the carbon market, is an emerging area where startups can combine people’s desire for financial gains with a positive impact on the environment. Pierre, on the other hand, acknowledges the growing importance of on-chain carbon credits, but he thinks there is more that can be done with blockchain technology to fight climate change.
How Can Young Companies Get VC Funding?
Alexis thinks that the first step is to accept the difficulty in raising capital, and then focus on identifying the market and executing the plan for user adoption and returns, exploring different types of investors, getting creative in funding options, and reducing cash burn to extend the runway.
For Sarah, adaptability and flexibility are keys for startups to survive. In her opinion, young companies should be able to pivot quickly based on market feedback. Pierre thinks that founders should build things that matter and people want to use. Traction is often tiny even for top protocols, so identifying what the space needs to move forward is important.
Sarah and Pierre both value the team the most in early-stage startups, followed by the product and the timing to enter the market. They believe that building something innovative with real modes against potential competitors is essential in the crypto space.
Speaking about preparing oneself to kickstart a career in Web3 and crypto, James advises young people to be willing to do whatever is asked of them, be flexible, and be team players with a diverse set of skills to make themselves useful to a young company. Alexis encourages young people to follow their passions and not be afraid to try different things, even if it means taking a different path than the safe one.