What is your background briefly?
I am 50 (!) year old UK qualified accountant who has spent the last 30 years in a range of operational finance and traditional finance roles in the telco, software, construction, money transfer sectors whilst living in UK, Long Island, Amsterdam, Whistler, Hong Kong and for the last five years or so in Monaco. In October, I am moving back to Hong Kong as I feel more energy in Asia.
I started angel equity investing in around 2012 and have an investment portfolio of about 20 investments in biotech, medical devices, applications, software companies.
How did you pivot into Blockchain – what was the lightbulb moment?
I was looking to buy BTC very early when I lived in Hong Kong. I worked out how to do it a month before Gox. Gox happened and it scared me off… Over the last couple of years, I was realising a lot more that there was a lack of liquidity on equity early stage. I started looking more at tokens, started hearing about blockchain at conferences and hearing people like Skinner talking.
The light came on when I saw secondary markets and liquidity for early stage tech funding. That is huge for me.
Give us a one-minute outline on how your journey as an investor evolved because of blockchain and how you now tend to operate in this space.
My initial involvement at a detailed level was with Humaniq where I was an advisor when they did their token sale. Since then I have become more active in blockchain and migrated away from fintech as I see more value in blockchain overall. Many ‘fintech’ in my view are fighting the wrong battle and should be looking to partner with legacy providers and not slam them at every opportunity.
Now I invest at early stage in tokens and have been an advisor to a limited number of projects mainly in the sectors that I am passionate about such as Howdoo, SID, Jointogo and I am also a co-founder of Ammeris where we are working on a renewable energy powered blockchain solution.
What excited you the most to cause you to get involved with the presale.market “TOKEN” project?
There needs to be a clean-up of the service providers. This is across every piece of it in my view including advisors, rating sites, marketing, bounty campaign managers. It has become like the pink sheet, OTC type of market when you look at a lot of service providers. There are not that many who are experienced, ethically sound and in the business for the long term.
Contributors into token sales should always do their own research of course, but we all know that public are influenced by rating sites, YouTube reviews and seeing ‘names’ associated with projects. Rating sites give high marks for having 50k bots in a social media group and don’t look at engagement, there is an element of ‘shilling’ that in a lot of cases can be misrepresentations and it’s a big problem.
I spoke with Fraser a few times and I like the idea of the project and the ethics it should push. When I also met some of the other people getting involved, it was a group that I had respect for and a group that I believe are also looking at the industry being a long-term project and needs a clean-up.
To be successful and get to where it should be then there needs to be a reliable rating and Due Diligence provider that institutions trust, like a Watson Wyatt of Tokens.
How much do you think that its innovative Presale Auction for 15% of the total token supply will sell?
Will sell out, I think. It’s a tough market today with ETH on the floor, but there is still interest in good projects and I think this ticks a lot of boxes
Anything other interesting insights to share/Anything else you’d like to add?
People generally underestimate the amount of self-policing that occurs in the industry and we are not good at explaining that to the public. It also staggers me that crowdfunders are encouraged by the regulators and the press when you get ‘sophisticated’ investor buying 10 GBP of equity. My experience of crowdfunding has been bad with the regulated companies being very unprofessional. I do not see how it can be in the retail public’s interest to be encouraged to invest equity in startups with a 90% failure rate and probably at least five years to exit, yet a token that can be used in a project way faster than five years or traded on a secondary exchange can be the devil. It’s nonsense.
How can people contact you? How can people find out more about you & your work?