Frothy Markets Are Like A Party With An Open Bar

by - Founder, Winklevoss Capital

bar

There has been talk for sometime about a potential bubble in Silicon Valley. With China’s stock market cratering to an 8-year low and US equities pulling back, a possible downturn (and potential silver lining) seems like it could be on the horizon.

This got me thinking. If a bar metaphor can be used to articulate a Nash equilibrium in game theory, then maybe we can find a similar metaphor to describe markets with plentiful capital. Read More

August 27 2015 Comments

Onfleet Officially Launches to Make Local Delivery Efficient and Delightful

by - Founder, Onfleet

2015-04-21 - Onfleet Officially Launches to Make Local Delivery Efficient and Delightful

Having made several investments in both location-based services and logistics solutions, Onfleet’s platform for local delivery management was a natural fit in the Winklevoss Capital family. Today, founder Khaled Naim takes Onfleet out of private beta, announces their recent round of funding and how he and his team plan to power the on-demand economy.

After powering hundreds of thousands of deliveries in 26 countries around the world over the past 12 months, we’re thrilled to officially announce the launch of Onfleet!

Since starting our beta testing in February 2014, we’ve worked with hundreds of companies delivering everything from groceries and prepared meals to flowers and laundry. Our products have helped our clients significantly improve operational efficiency, increase sales and enhance their customer experience. Read More

April 21 2015 Comments

Our Latest Investment: Gemini

by - Founder, Winklevoss Capital

gemini-logo-2

Cameron and I have been angel investors for over two years now. So far the journey has been incredible, we’ve met some of the most courageous, innovative and brilliant people along the way, but most importantly, we formed lifelong friendships that will persist regardless of the economic outcomes.

Today, our portfolio includes over 40 companies and is growing strong. But we always had a suspicion that one day we would go back to our roots as entrepreneurs and ultimately place a bet on ourselves. That day has come.

So with that, we are proud to announce Gemini: a next generation bitcoin exchange.

Read more about our journey here.

January 23 2015 Comments

Our Two-Part Interview With StrictlyVC

by - Founder, Winklevoss Capital

2014-01-09 - StriclyVC

Cameron and I recently did a two-part interview with Semil Shah while he was guest-editing StrictlyVC. We discussed our strategy as angel investors, our thoughts on the future of Bitcoin and the impact of of a certain pop culture portrayal. We wanted to share excerpts from both interviews. Enjoy!

You are both well-known for a variety of things now. Briefly catch us up on all of your activities. What are you both focused on for 2015?

Sure. Over the last two years, Cameron and I have been focused on building Winklevoss Capital. Prior to this, we were elite athletes for close to 15 years. After retiring in 2012, we decided we wanted to get back into the startup game and investing seemed like a natural entry point. For the past two-plus years we been spending a lot of time building a strong network of fellow investors and promising entrepreneurs. We’ve been fine-tuning our filters to what we like and don’t like, and developing our overall investment thesis. Most importantly, we’ve been investing a lot. Our portfolio now comprises more than 40 companies and is growing by the day. Read More

January 9 2015 Comments

Introducing The Winklevoss Capital Syndicate On AngelList

by - Founder, Winklevoss Capital

2014-12-08 Introducing The Winklevoss Capital Syndicate On AngelList

Last week I gave an interview to CoinDesk about our recently launched Syndicate on AngelList. We covered some great topics in-depth, some of which include our long-term thesis on Bitcoin, bitcoin company investing and the crowd-funding venture capital model in general. I’ve posted the interview in its entirety below. Hope you enjoy!

-Tyler

1. Winklevoss Capital tweeted today to announce its AngelList syndicate. What new information was revealed today as part of the announcement?

We just launched the Winklevoss Capital syndicate on AngelList* and have already started to syndicate our first deal. We plan to give accredited investors access to the types of deals that make up our existing portfolio. Not every company we invest in will be suitable for a syndicate nor will it always be possible for us to get an allocation to syndicate, but when it’s possible and appropriate, we plan to do so. Investors who “back” our syndicate ahead of time will get priority. It is important to note that “backing” does not obligate an investor to invest in the deals we syndicate.

*disclosure: Winklevoss Capital is an investor in AngelList.

2. The AngelList syndicate will focus broadly on tech deals. Do you plan to consider bitcoin companies? If so, what fields of interest might you be reviewing? Read More

December 8 2014 Comments

The Jetsons Fallacy – Part II

by - Founder, Astro

2014-11-24 - The Jetsons Fallacy - Part II

Photo Credit: Rachael Dunk

Here is Part II of “The Jestons Fallacy” by Shaun Springer, founder of our smart home portfolio company Astro. In this piece, Shaun examines the past year in smart home innovation, disruption, acquisitions (Nest) and the effects of crowdfunding on widespread consumer adoption (or lack thereof). For those interested, Part I can be found here.
-Cameron

I remember sitting at my desk in early January 2014, when the news of Nest acquisition broke. My former associates from Crestron were asking me if the $3.2bn price tag was justified, and even began to speculate about Google’s future plans for the brand.

In a short amount of time, Nest was able to disrupt an archaic thermostat industry. It provided obvious and easy-to-understand value propositions like wireless control, energy-savings, and scheduling. More importantly, it was easier to use than your classic Honeywell thermostat, and didn’t introduce as much complexity as competing devices. Read More

November 25 2014 Comments

Money Is Broken, But Its Future Is Not

by - Founder, Winklevoss Capital

2014-11-10 - Money Is Broken, But Its Future Isnt - Money2020

Tyler (left) and Cameron (right) presenting at the 2014 Money20/20 conference in Las Vegas, NV.

Last Monday, Cameron and I gave a keynote presentation at the 2014 Money20/20 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. If it’s any indication of where money and payments are going, the two hottest topics at the conference this year were Bitcoin and Apple Pay. Two years ago, as far as the conference and attendees were concerned, Bitcoin didn’t even exist and Apple Pay certainly didn’t.

The premise of our presentation is simple; money is a technology that was designed to solve a trade problem, but today, it’s actually creating one.

We break our presentation into three parts, the first one taking you through a quick understanding of why we have money, what money is, what it has been and what it can be. I’ve found in my conversations over the past few years that money is the most widely used yet misunderstood technology in the world, so it’s helpful to begin any discussion about it with the right framework. Read More

November 12 2014 Comments

The Jetsons Fallacy – Part I

by - Founder, Astro

2014-11-07 - The Jetsons Fallacy - Astro - Rachael Dunk

Who didn’t watch The Jetsons with fascination and hope that one day our homes would someday be smart and automated? It captured the imagination of many, including one of our portfolio company entrepreneurs Shaun Springer. Shaun is the founder of Astro, a company that aims to create “Simpler Solutions for a Smarter Home” starting with a simple (and smart) lightbulb.

When I first met Shaun, it was in a serendipitous social setting. Quite frankly, I didn’t even know he had a startup at the time, nor was I looking to invest in a pre-prototype smart home company. As our conversation continued he began to talk about the smart home space and I was drawn in by his vision and incredibly thoughtful approach towards it. I later learned that Shaun had a startup and a few months later we were sitting in my office talking about it. Ten minutes into our conversation, I knew I wanted to invest.

Below we share the first of his three part blog series on how he started in the smart home space, what he is building now and where he sees it all going.

-Cameron

As a kid, I remember, visiting my uncle Robert’s house out in Roslyn, NY and being so enamored with his fancy theater, jam packed with gadgets like a state-of-the-art laser disc player and a 120” projector. With the push of a button, the lights would dim, a projector screen would drop from the ceiling, and video would play in glorious 5.1 surround sound. As far as I was concerned, it was like the Jetsons had come to life. Read More

November 7 2014 Comments

The Rise of Anonymous Networks

by - Founder, Winklevoss Capital

The connections of our inner-thoughts, truths and emotions.

2014-09-16-Anoynmous - The-Rise-of-Personal-Networks

“Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.” - Oscar Wilde

On or about 2004, the World Wide Web underwent a paradigm shift from static, passively consumed web pages to content that is interactive, user-generated and collaborative on a global scale. This inflection point, referred to as Web 2.0, was not so much a technical line in the sand as a semantic one, acknowledging the behavioral and use-case changes that would ultimately lead to the internet fulfilling much of its inventor’s, Sir Tim Berners Lee, original plan: a “collaborative medium, a place where we can all meet and read and write.”

From there, the online world started to look a lot like the offline one. Our digital identities were no longer anonymous avatars, but instead our actual identities, and our online linkages such as “friends” were not much different than our real-life ones; social networks had officially arrived. Companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter have since helped digitize our connections and foster sharing in a viral manner. Read More

October 8 2014 Comments

Coachability

by - Founder, Winklevoss Capital

An image showing Hitch’s first pairing of 3 single riders (3 pickups/3 drop-offs)  in one vehicle on June 2, 2014 @ 5:30pm PST in San Francisco.

An image showing Hitch’s first pairing of 3 single riders (3 pickups/3 drop-offs) in one vehicle on June 2, 2014 @ 5:30pm PST in San Francisco.

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool”
-William Shakespeare, As You Like It

Last week, it is was announced that one of our portfolio companies, Hitch, had been acquired by Lyft. I am excited that their innovative ride-sharing algorithm and platform will now be available to even more riders. This summer, two weeks after launch, Hitch completed their first pairing of three riders (3 distinct pickups w/ 3 distinct dropoffs) in a single vehicle, representing a huge step towards maximizing the use of vehicles, reducing pollution/congestion and ultimately the need to own a car outright.

But I actually wanted to use the Hitch story to highlight the importance of coachability. As an Olympic athlete, if my coach had told me that I would have a better chance of winning a medal by standing on my head, well, I would have done exactly that. If you weren’t coachable, you would usually find your way off the team pretty quickly. But companies are a little bit different, since founders are both the athlete (competing) and the coach (managing a team, building a vision, etc.). There is often nothing forcing them to take advice, and yet the best seem to build trusted networks (investors, board members, advisors, etc.) that they leverage to great effect. This avoids building product in a vacuum, getting high on your own supply and more often than not leads to a better outcome for all (Fred Wilson wrote a great blog post about building a company board with independent directors).

Read More

October 3 2014 Comments