Boris Wertz on De-Fi and The Future of Finance
It’s always a pleasure to talk with someone who is at the intersection of technology trends, and today our guest Boris Wertz is at the forefront of investing in crypto and has been for the last five years. Through his position as an early investor in Dapper Labs, creators of CryptoKitties and NBA TopShot, Boris has been an early believer in the power of blockchain and crypto and he’s now setting his sights on climate change investing and the creator economy.
Boris Wertz is founding partner of Version One and one of the top tech early-stage investors in North America. Born in Germany and based in Vancouver, Boris takes a wide-angle view to find great companies all across North America with a focus on the pre-seed and the seed stage in marketplaces, enterprise SaaS, crypto, healthcare, energy, climate.. He is a board partner with Andreessen Horowitz and is well-respected for his uncanny ability to find the next generation of leaders. Before becoming an investor, Boris built an online marketplace for used and out-of-print books in 1999, selling the business to AbeBooks.com where he became COO and led a team of 140 people doing $250mm in platform revenues. After AbeBooks.com was sold to Amazon, he moved into investing, first as an angel and now with his own fund Version One which launched in 2012.
Aduro Advisors is the premier fund administrator for venture capital and private equity firms. Led by a team of industry veterans and powered by proprietary software, FundPanel.io, Aduro pairs best-in-class service with the robust and flexible technology that the industry demands.
From emerging managers just starting out to seasoned firms looking to supplement an internal team, Aduro’s back office solution rises to the challenge of supporting your firm’s specific needs.
In this episode we discuss:
03:27 The growth of DeFi as an industry
04:48 How negative associations with the early ICO market has affected DeFi
07:01 The opportunity Boris saw in 2017
10:32 The speed of innovation the crypto space
12:14 How big the market for Ethereum can grow
13:52 Valuing crypto platforms and protocols
15:04 How Uniswap.com works and its power
17:10 The lending mechanic in Ethereum
19:58 New platforms like nexusmutual.io and opyn.co
23:42 How DeFi compares and competes with another Boris portfolio company, Coinbase
28:28 Has Boris bought any TopShot packs personally
30:39 Selling his Cryptokitties investment to his LPs
32:30 The future of cryptoart
34:33 What value means with today’s meme-investing
35:47 How his team decides on what is worth investing in
38:50 Addressing Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger’s crypto critique
41:08 Working with LPs as investment thesis evolves
44:02 How portfolio company silviaterra.com is working to fight climate change
45:34 Investing while remote
46:43 Boris’s favorite podcast: Invest Like The Best
47:22 Boris’s favorite newsletter or blog: stratechery.com
47:51 Boris’s favorite tech gadget: Google Pixel
48:21 Favorite new trend: The creator economy
49:34 Favorite book: Albert Banger’s forthcoming book