Boost VC is opening up its portfolio to cryptocurrency startups in a whole new way.
One of the first institutional investors to open its coffers to bitcoin startups in 2013, the San Mateo-based firm today revealed it will invest in so-called token sales or initial coin offerings (ICOs), new mechanisms increasingly being used to fund startup development but that have emerged as a lightning rod for controversy.
Initially seen as a potential threat to institutional investors, the announcement today marks the latest evidence that the sale of such software products – sometimes as securities, sometimes not – could offer an additional avenue for venture capitalists seeking returns.
In a blog post today, Boost VC co-founder Brayton Williams wrote:
"We are looking for talented developers looking to build the next protocols of the internet. We are looking for entrepreneurs building the future of decentralized companies."
Specifically, Williams wrote that Boost VC is looking for companies that are building low-level protocols to underlie a decentralized internet, creating less volatile cryptocurrencies, developing tools to help run distributed autonomous organizations or defining new governance models for such platforms.
Williams also expressed an interest in accepting other models as the industry evolves.
Selected companies will receive between $25,000 and $100,000 to help build out the runway to an eventual token sale, a process that will include the creation of actual code (which Williams hopes will help distinguish the offerings).
Over the past four years, Boost VC claims to have invested in more than 100 blockchain founders from a diverse set of firms, most recently joining an investment in cryptocurrency fund Polychain Capital and Aragon, a decentralized app for blockchain organizations.
Last week, Williams hinted in an interview with CoinDesk that such a development might be in the works, though his words today were perhaps more forceful in conveying the company's new market strategy.
"Because our goal at Boost VC is to fund and accelerate cryptocurrency and blockchain founders, we are not trying to fight this new trend, we are ready to play our role."
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