Revisiting Our Conversation with Boris Wertz on being an early believer in De-Fi
It’s been a year since Boris Wertz was a guest on Tank Talks, and oh what a year it’s been. We’ve seen NFTs and Crypto rise, fall, rise, and crash. And that’s just the last few weeks. We thought it would be fun to listen with new ears to this thought-provoking conservation with someone who has helped build the crypto space into what it is today. 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.
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In this episode we discuss:
02:27 The growth of DeFi as an industry
03:48 How negative associations with the early ICO market has affected DeFi
06:01 The opportunity Boris saw in 2017
09:32 The speed of innovation the crypto space
11:14 How big the market for Ethereum can grow
12:52 Valuing crypto platforms and protocols
14:04 How Uniswap.com works and its power
16:10 The lending mechanic in Ethereum
18:58 New platforms like nexusmutual.io and opyn.co
22:42 How DeFi compares and competes with another Boris portfolio company, Coinbase
27:28 Has Boris bought any TopShot packs personally
29:39 Selling his Cryptokitties investment to his LPs
31:30 The future of cryptoart
32:33 What value means with today’s meme-investing
34:47 How his team decides on what is worth investing in
37:50 Addressing Warren Buffet and Charlie Munger’s crypto critique
40:08 Working with LPs as investment thesis evolves
43:02 How portfolio company silviaterra.com is working to fight climate change
44:34 Investing while remote
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The creator economy
Albert Banger’s forthcoming book