The evolution of venture capital for blockchain
Advanced Blockchain invests in, builds, and incubates global blockchain and Web3 solutions. We deploy expert research, investment, development, and business resources towards ideas and projects in order to build and scale teams and products that generate long-term value.
Established in 2017, Advanced Blockchain AG was founded by a small group of visionaries that were inspired by the endless possibilities of blockchain technology. Our leaders are driven to actively participate in shaping the future of Web3 and have continued to build and grow a strong and capable team of leaders to succeed in this undertaking. In the last five years, Advanced Blockchain has positioned itself as a leading investor, builder, and thought leader in the budding decentralized finance space, a vertical of blockchain technology that is paving the way for mainstream adoption of the new frontier of technology.
The Advanced Blockchain corporate family is an extensive team of analysts, developers, programmers, economists, marketers, and mathematicians, all of which are dedicated to developing the future of Web3. In the last year, we have witnessed unprecedented growth in human and capital resources. Advanced Blockchain has grown from 15 members in January 2021 to 200 by April 2022. We are a truly global team as we are spread across 6 continents and are always pushing the narrative of diversity and productivity. We are growing at a fast yet necessary pace as we pride ourselves in the evolution of our ethos to be the central point for a decentralized future. We believe that this exact alignment, fortitude, and consistency is why Advanced Blockchain is a hub that is built to last and succeed in the inevitable blockchain-enabled future.
We build, sustain and pioneer blockchain industry leaders
In order to pioneer the mass adoption of Web3, we have rethought the venture capital model and center with strategic building as a core fundamental. We are investors, venture builders, and researchers on a unified mission to accelerate the evolution of the space. As investors, our philosophy entails making strategic investments early to accelerate the potential of promising founders throughout all ecosystems of the blockchain space with the overarching objective to participate in profitable opportunities at an attractive entry point. As builders, our method involves deploying our talent towards well-researched ideas to craft and successfully run revenue-generating businesses. In this way, we pioneer cutting-edge solutions that redefine new frontiers of blockchain and Web3 from ideation. As incubators and researchers, we are a holistic resource for like-minded founders, both internal and external, looking to contribute to Web3 adoption. At our core, Advanced Blockchain is a team of creators and leaders that power the inception, sustainability, and evolution of projects we help build and commit to. By rethinking the very nature of incubation and acceleration, we are a radical venture studio and investor pushing the power of collaboration to accelerate a new generation of innovation and entrepreneurs.
We believe in three fundamental values for leading the next generation of industry leaders:
- Smart Capital Investments: our strategic capital allocation and portfolio support efforts
- Proactive Venture Building and Incubating: our integrated approach to venture building, incubating, and scaling
- Holistic Research and Education: our holistic research efforts and education programs
AB.Capital is our investment wing and is uniquely positioned to provide smart capital to entrepreneurs at every stage of the business life cycle. Our portfolio companies can take full advantage of the resources provided by AB Labs and AB Research to accelerate their growth, refine their innovation, and scale their operations. We give our shareholders the ability to participate early in attractive and exclusive Web3 opportunities, providing long-term value to our global investors, partners, and communities.
A critical aspect of the Advanced Blockchain business model is our involvement and investment in projects that we believe will have a significant return on investment. We do this through our research team’s recommendations exploring untapped innovation opportunities and predictions on the most impactful trends. Our thesis for sourcing and deciding on what tokens to hold and what projects to support follows a simple yet well-vetted process involving individuals across our teams that contribute their well-rounded expertise. We pride ourselves in backing the visionaries of the future and believe that our portfolio of investments reflects and represents a well-established and promising position for both playing a part in governing the future and financially participating in the growth of these platforms we are supporting.
In addition to finding the most promising and profitable investments for the long term, we are purposeful in our methodology in selecting and curating a portfolio that is as ambitious as our vision. As part of our investment thesis, we often seek projects that contribute utility and long-term value to our overall ecosystem. For that reason, we promote interoperability in the solutions but also in interoperable workflow and collaboration between our projects. We call this ecosystem-centric investing.
Through our pioneering research team we identify problems and gaps within the ecosystems, and proactively find valuable solutions. Using the recommendations of the in-house research team, we carefully assess the longevity and profitability of the thesis, whilst being cognisant of current projects and innovations that we currently build or invest in. By doing so, we set ourselves apart as smart investors and beyond our investment provide this necessary insight to our portfolio. Research, therefore, is not isolated to just birthing the latest innovations and solutions but is an active part of how we carefully invest conscientiously and strategically in the trends of today and tomorrow.
By bringing our expertise from traditional and decentralized finance, we have married together a team that not only can pioneer innovation but bridges the gap for mainstream adoption of Web3 solutions. Being mindful of our other core values, we favor investing as early as possible to ensure that projects have as much benefit added from Advanced Blockchain and we have the most advantageous investment position. Our extensive teams of in-house experts across software, communication, research, and business development are regularly utilized by our diverse portfolio, to build and further evolve their products, presence, and value. This can range from in-depth product reviews to marketing strategy with implementation and assistance in integrations and partnerships with other protocols - truly adding value beyond our capital investment to entrepreneurs and companies. This unique service offering has enabled us to access early-stage deal flows for ambitious projects and their founders.
The Advanced Blockchain ecosystem is taking tremendous strides through the growth of our investments and the successful creation of new innovative ventures. We have recently invested in several promising projects such as Element Finance, Neon Labs, Obol, Polymer Labs, NEAR protocol, and Talisman. These investments were made alongside some of the most prominent investors in the space such as a16z (Andreessen Horowitz), Polychain Capital, Blockchain Capital, and Dragonfly Capital. AB.Capital is committed to diversifying our portfolio further and accommodating rapid innovation in the Web3 landscape.
AB.Labs: Beyond Incubations
AB.Labs is a hub for like-minded founders seeking to incubate their ideas through our venture-building division. We empower entrepreneurs with the necessary resources to build and scale their ideas whilst identifying further opportunities to integrate their developments with other products and services within our holistic ecosystem. We build real problem-solving businesses in-house grounded by well-researched and tested ideas. Our Labs and Research teams, therefore, work in tandem to develop valuable and necessary solutions that are equipped with the talent, resources, and tools to scale the business efficiently and successfully.
Advanced Blockchain Labs enables us to work with the teams of the future to ideate, develop, and support the most promising innovations from inception. We find success in our Labs division in two distinct ways:
- Enabling and supporting entrepreneurs to build, run, and scale companies or spin-offs through holistic and flexible services and incubations: We provide the necessary scaling resources to entrepreneurs or teams that are seeking to bring their business ideas to the next stage. Our resources can be immediately deployed towards teams and don’t require long-term commitment. Thus, talent and resources are implemented when and where they are needed to alleviate the pain of hiring a team of experienced and sometimes niche employees that are necessary for certain short-term deliverables of projects. We allow businesses to focus on their core competencies while we support them with other necessary tools, talent, and networks to scale effectively.
- Building and running companies within Advanced Blockchain: We build projects from the ground up by identifying problems, ideating and testing a feasible solution, and deploying the necessary resources to build, run, and scale a successful business that attracts a community of investors, users, and partners. We identify the right leadership, development, research, and marketing team to run and build not only the project but to grow, sustain, and educate a community.
Thus, AB Labs is a holistic hub where internal and external innovators are equipped with leading talent, expertise, and thought to birth their solutions and bring them to market as we believe in true integration while being respectful of autonomy. Additionally, our scaling services are available for external teams on a contract basis, these teams can utilize our consultancy and software development services, providing Advanced Blockchain with recurring revenue streams.
Teams and projects that are integrated into AB Labs can utilize the whole wealth of resources available to them from across our product, marketing, and research teams to catapult their project to new heights. Incubated Projects benefit greatly from our development house ( building across several chains and frameworks from solidity, cosmos and substrate, product testing and technical auditing) branding team (narrative and positioning, design collateral), product design (ux/ui, product interfaces and testnets), marketing (content plans, social media strategies, growth hacking and community management), business development, cryptographers and infrastructure (legal, HR, book-keeping and accounting). Our global team of over 200 people covers support for a wide range of solutions required by Web3 projects. Our reputation and network have enabled us to support many CEOs of the future and we are proud to be building with the brightest minds and true disruptors in Blockchain.
AB Lab’s resources are leverageable and can be immediately deployed to supplement the core members of a team to realize their goals while avoiding long-term hiring of niche experts to solve short-term problems in the building processes. This is a unique value proposition for teams that have scalable products but lack scalability in their organizational structure. Through Advanced Blockchain Labs, experts from a variety of disciplines can be resourced to projects that need specific expertise for specific timelines. Without AB Labs, these resources and talent acquisitions can be hard to find, expensive, and require unnecessary long-term commitments.
AB Labs and all of our resources have been leveraged by projects to launch successful revenue-generating products, token generation events, and other tried and tested functionalities and infrastructures. Our team is integrated across different projects so they are able to provide insights and opportunities which previously innovators that were isolated may be unfamiliar with or do not possess the technical prowess to execute. As builders ourselves, we know this bespoke offering is not possible to attain elsewhere in the industry. We pride ourselves on deep philosophical rigor and power our projects with the necessary thought and intellectual resources from ideation to execution. Additionally, our existing portfolio of investments and incubations continues to successfully build and scale as showcased by the major milestones accomplishments towards their respective visions. Our team has worked closely with Composable Finance to accomplish an astounding year.
In addition to the incredible accomplishments that are highlighted in the year in review, Composable has started the year off strong by securing a Polkadot Parachain slot at auction and raising over $32M in their Series A financing round. Additionally, AB. Labs and Composable Labs have built, launched, collaborated, and supported several projects and efforts that are integrated into the Composable Ecosystem such as Instrumental Finance and Angular Finance. Furthermore, we have built and supported projects that address needs across DeFi such as Bribe Protocol for dGov, Quasar for vault strategies and yield aggregation in the Cosmos ecosystem, Warp Finance for novel leverage opportunities outside of DotSama, Peaq showcasing our efforts beyond DeFi, and several exciting projects such as Panoptic - a Uniswap v3 based perpetual options protocol.
SOSV, Sting x NASDAQ and our Advanced Blockchain Pre-Accelerator Program:
Advanced Blockchain continues to partner with leading VCs, company builders, and accelerators to source and build projects. While most of these projects currently remain in stealth, several promising projects have benefited from our collaborative accelerator programs and have been able to complete successful funding rounds. These programs are very hands-on and allow us to work with founders to build solutions from the ground up. These partnerships allow us to source and provide support to external entrepreneurs from ideation to scale.
AB.Research is an integral part of enabling the future of Web3 by analyzing, theorizing, and actualizing solutions to the most probing questions in the industry. Our research division acts as an in-house think tank to identify problems in the industry and create innovative solutions. Additionally, it supports our portfolio companies by understanding and deploying their expertise to solve some of their most in-depth problems.
AB Research is the embodiment of our dedication to the space as a whole and the ways that we can drastically change the world for the better. Our team is composed of leading cryptographers, mathematicians, and academics with prolific backgrounds. AB.Research aims to unlock the phenomenal talent that lies still at the periphery of Web3, stagnated by Web2 or other lagging industries - by asking the right questions, identifying and testing feasible solutions, and equipping teams with the relevant knowledge, we confidently launch solutions that add value to the Web3 space. In addition to identifying solutions to new problems, our team is dedicated to solving the challenges that existing protocols face. These challenges are sometimes unidentified, our research team thus helps protocols avoid future problems by identifying potential economic exploit scenarios in their products.
Our team of groundbreaking researchers that comprise Advanced Blockchain’s in-house think tank is led by Jesper Kristensen, a PhD in applied physics from Cornell University. Our researchers explore the most probing questions to then identify and test solutions that are necessary to move our portfolio investments forward. They do this by understanding some of the most in-depth problems of our portfolio investments. By doing so, AB Research is not limited to just an afterthought but is an integral part of informing, educating, and actualizing our series of investments, and efficient sequences. By answering some of the most probing questions in the industry, the think-tank poses new ones for innovators and incubated projects to solve, bringing the cycle full circle.
At our core, we believe it is paramount to nurture a new advent of researchers and academics that are inspired to solve and answer the big questions currently facing Web3. Attracting the best minds and thinkers is a necessary part and inspiring them to become builders and researchers for the future of DeFi and beyond. To this effect, AB.Research furthers our commitment to education by nurturing talent and thought that can impact the mass adoption of the space. By doing so we can also attract the best talent from some of the leading institutes globally.
Here are some of the ways that we inspired educators and researchers into blockchain:
- Sponsoring PhD studentships - at the University of Warwick
- Collaborations with University of Chicago
- Creating and driving Blockchain Fellowships
- University and Educator Partnerships including an intensive DeFi bootcamp for students at the University of Valencia
- Campus integrations and collaborations including research and work placements for students at the University of Hong Kong
- We are currently developing a multimedia Educational library of content including podcasts, video explainers, and an introduction to core blockchain fundamentals
Research and education for us are about having the power to imagine whilst being conscious of the current limitations presented. We believe in developing the next generation of thought in the space, and with our commitment to studentships, open publications, and being present at the most notable hubs of academic thought - we are actualizing the power to imagine beyond its current remits.
State of the Blockchain Market: Guiding thoughts for the future of Blockchain
There is still much debate on where the blockchain market will be in the next few years, though we believe the future of blockchain is all but certain and it will play a major role in bridging the gap between the traditional world and the digital space. In 2021, Advanced Blockchain successfully positioned itself as a true driving force and resource hub for DeFi through our research, development, and investment efforts. It is no secret that DeFi has become one of the fastest-moving and more widely supported themes within the blockchain space. We believe that the precedent that has been set by the DeFi sector showcased and inspired many forward thinkers from different industries to begin considering the possibilities of utilizing this new technological framework and structure to benefit a variety of products and services within their own industry. Advanced Blockchain aims to be at the forefront of this movement and will continue to push the limits of the Blockchain market.
Blockchain technology still requires a plethora of updates before it can be universally accepted and standardized. We have spent a considerable amount of time researching the problematic state of the blockchain ecosystem being siloed in its current state. Overall, our thought is that the future of DeFi and the various protocols therein is producing a multi-chain environment. That being said, this current multi-chain framework is a double-edged sword that severely limits the ability to collaborate and communicate freely. As we recognize the reality and results of a multi-chain, we continue to position ourselves to help marshal resources to allow for a cross-chain future to enable an open market.
The cross-chain future we envision will allow developers and users to benefit from all of the resources and benefits that blockchain technology provides. Solutions should be deployable in a fragmented way to reap the benefits of different blockchains while being able to communicate across ecosystems in a cohesive fashion. What we are supporting and building enables developers and users to laser focus on key benefits that pertain to their particular needs through the use of different blockchains as they provide different benefits in scalability, security, and utility. Thus, our efforts in research, development, investment, and education have been targeted at projects that aim to alleviate the negative effects of this siloed multi-chain environment to reach a cross-chain future. We have ingrained interoperability into all aspects of our company incubation and investment strategy for we believe that in order to achieve our goals of global blockchain adoption we need to enter a state of blockchain agnosticism.
Advanced Blockchain: shaping the future of Web3
We are inspecting and developing strategies for a variety of different blockchain technologies that cut across all verticals. Our research team diligently conducts concept discoveries to further help us expand our investments and incubation efforts. Through these efforts, we are setting the stage for the growth propulsion in DeFi to continue as we believe the sector still has incredible yet untapped potential that needs to be unlocked especially for both investors and builders looking for the best ways to marry DeFi with traditional finance. As we progress along this journey, we will be releasing more in-depth information regarding our research and investment theses on these verticals that are not only promising but requires immediate resources for full exploration, here are just some of the topics our team is exploring:
- The Metaverse & blockchain gaming
- NFT use-cases across different verticals
- Real-world assets and blockchain adoptions
- Traditional finance integrations & adoption of blockchain
Advanced Blockchain AG as an Investor, Venture Builder, and Researcher is making tremendous strides in the development, investment, and education of and for a blockchain-enabled future. We believe the Web3 space requires bold innovations that afford users multi-variant solutions that ultimately help propel the industry forward. This is why we are expanding at an incredible pace and are simultaneously broadening the focus of our efforts. Our efforts are geared towards allocating research, development, and investment resources towards opportunities that span beyond the scope of DeFi but embrace foundational technologies like the blockchain that powers the Web3 sector. We welcome all inquiries for builders, investors, and researchers who share in our mission to propel Web3 to its rightful place. The future Advanced Blockchain is building is one where there is no obstacle to pioneering solutions and posing the most daring question to ensure the future of blockchain is robust, resilient, and creatively engaged.
Further information on Advanced Blockchain AG and our other projects and investments can be found at https://www.advancedblockchain.com/.