The Future Is Stateless
Stateless Ventures is an early stage crypto asset investment firm. We back startups with highly asymmetric risk reward potential. Often, these are good ideas that start out looking like bad ideas. Identifying the crossover between what the smartest people are working on during nights/weekends and where the world is going. We are witnessing a Cambrian explosion of innovation in financial technology and web architecture. The future web will be more decentralized, free from trusted 3rd parties and monopoly tech giants.
We believe the internet should be more egalitarian. By investing in startups and crypto protocols, we intend to bring about that change.
Matt is founder and Managing Partner at Stateless Ventures where he leads the investment team across all sectors and asset classes.
Prior to Stateless, Matt was Co-founder and CEO of Hedgy – a blockchain derivatives startup backed by Tim Draper and Marc Benioff. A pioneer of smart contract technology, Hedgy built one of the first decentralized exchanges for crypto derivatives. Hedgy was acquired by Wyre, Inc. in 2018.
Matt holds a BSc in Business from USC, a Masters in Finance from Hult and a J.D in Law from Loyola Law School.
Sol is a Venture Partner at Stateless Ventures where he leads late stage investments across SaaS, Crypto, Healthcare, AI, EVs, Autonomous Robotics and other emerging fields.
Sol founded and currently leads Factorial Funds, a private equity and venture fund focusing on growth stage investments.
Previously, Sol was a founding engineer at Cruise Automation (YC W14), an early self driving car startup acquired by GM for $1b in 2016.
Sol graduated from USC with a BSc in Physics while teaching himself how to code on nights and weekends.
Sam is a Venture Partner at Stateless Ventures where he sources DeFi and early stage crypto deals.
Sam co-founded Carbon Money during his senior year at Stanford, raising funds from Y Combinator and General Catalyst, among others. Sam started mining Bitcoin in his dorm room in 2014 and, prior to Carbon, was one of the founding engineers at Plenty, a Softbank backed AI and hydroponics company. Sam is passionate about decentralization and tech enabled disintermediation.
Sam studied Computer Science at Stanford.
Zach is a Venture Partner at Stateless Ventures where he leads private syndicate investments from early stage to growth equity.
Zach is founder/GP at Calm Ventures, a top angel list syndicate with over 3000 investors. Notable investments include Brex, Headspace, Omaze and SuperRare.
Previously, Zach was partner at OCV Ventures leading growth equity deals. Zach graduated from USC with a BSc in Finance.
Reid is an junior partner at Stateless Ventures where he helps the investment team across all sectors.
Prior to Stateless, Reid covered internet and media sectors at Balyasny Asset Management (BAM) - a long/short hedge fund focused on public equities. Reid also worked in the Advisory practice at KPMG, assisting technology businesses with M&A.
Reid graduated from the University of Oregon, doubling majoring in Finance and Economics.
"We invest in what we believe should exist. And let the world catch up.”
- Matt Slater
Hi, Matt Slater here. I started Stateless after many years of investing both personally and through my prior investment funds. Stateless is the culmination of my investment thesis. It summarizes how I'm placing my bets over the next few decades.
Founders are the Net Driver of Progress
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." -George Bernard Shaw
Translating this quote to todays world, I argue that all progress depends on the Unreasonable Founder. Founders are the net driver of progress.
Good Ideas Start on the Fringe
Your Thumbs Will Learn
During a media tour in 2007 in which Steve Jobs showed the device to reporters, there was one instance in which a journalist criticized the iPhone’s touch-screen keyboard.
“It doesn’t work,” the reporter said.
Jobs stopped for a moment and tilted his head. The reporter said he or she kept making typos and the keys were too small for his or her thumbs.
Jobs smiled and then replied: “Your thumbs will learn.”
I'm Ultra Long Science and Technology
I believe we are still in the beginning stages of the technology productivity boom. In the industrial revolution, we multiplied our productivity per capita by using machines to generate leverage on physical labor. The engine, tractors, electricity, automobiles, planes and the assembly line multiplied our productivity output.
Now, technology is taking us on 100 year
Software is the highest leverage tool mankind has ever invented
Beware of Biases, they act as blinders to see new solutions to old problems.
What are assumptions people have about the world that everybody believes. But, they are fixed in our minds, not in reality? Some examples are:
1) Does education need to be taught as a formal 4 year college institution? Can we give the young generation the technical skills via 3 month online coding courses?
2) Do we need to solve climate change by reducing carbon emissions or can we solve it by taking out the carbon of the atmosphere faster than we put it in?
3) Are trains and jet-fuel powered airplanes the most efficient way to get around the world? Could we circumvent the globe using sub-orbital flight?
4) Are Tanker ships the optimal way to ship goods around the world? Could a hydroplane boat be better?
5) Is the current cell tower based model of the optimal solution to mobile internet penetration? Could a satellite mesh network be 10x or 100x better?
6) Is the USD the best form of a world reserve currency we have? Would a digitally native, store of value present a better alternative?
7) Is medicine the best way to cure an infected organ or can we regrow the organ using stem cells?
8) Is a bits based transistor computer the optimal way to build a computer? Or could a quantum design computer be a better design?
All of these questions share one thing in common. They question reality using first principles. By removing our human biases for “how we’ve always done things,” we can think more freely about the specific problem we are trying to solve. It is only from a first principle approach that we can arrive at a novel solution. A 0 to 1 solution.
The Best Ideas Often Start out looking like Bad Ideas
Here are some common traits of good ideas that look like bad ideas:
- Powerful people will dismiss them as toys
- Western union dismissed the telephone when it was invented – they said Why do we need voice? WE have Morse code
- Why do we need email when we have fax machines?
- Why do we need online shopping when I can go down to the mail?
- Unbundling the functions done by incumbent businesses
- Emerge first as hobbies
Betting against the status quo can be daunting. It can feel like you are alone in space. However, that feeling, of being ahead of the crowd is a good indication you are headed in the right direction. The best companies create their own sectors.
That is why we founded Carbon Ventures. To back incredible founders as they venture into the unknown and to give them both the financial and social capital to push the envelope that much further.
As investors, we are always looking for companies that present asymmetric risk reward. Where the risk is capped (1x our investment) but the reward may be many times the initial capital. 100-1000x multiple potential.
I back startups with highly asymmetric risk reward potential. Often, these are good ideas that start out looking like bad ideas. Identifying the crossover between what the smartest people are working on during nights/weekends and where the world is going.
Using the network I've built over the last decade in silicon valley, I get access to proprietary deal flow. My approach is simple. I back founders with domain expertise solving hard problems in massive markets. Industries that have not yet been touched by technology. I look for asymmetric opportunities where the payoff, if successful, dwarfs the risk of loss.
I invest in teams I believe in first, ideas second. A good team can find their way to a good idea. A bad team often cannot.
In 2014, I Co-founded Hedgy, a blockchain derivatives platform backed by Tim Draper and Marc Benioff. Hedgy raised $1.2m in funding and was acquired by Wyre, Inc in 2018. In late 2017, I co-founded Synapse Capital, a crypto asset investment fund where I managed a portfolio of liquid and illiquid crypto investments. (www.synapse.capital)
My career has largely been in the investing and cryptocurrency world. I first invested in bitcoin in 2013. I later invested in the Ethereum crowd sale in 2014 among many of the other early, successful protocols.
Through 2014-2017, I increased my exposure as Ethereum ushered in a new era of the internet – the internet of value. I invested in many of the top performing crypto assets including Cosmos, 0x (pre-seed), Theta, Augur, MakerDAO and Golem generating a combined return of over 5000%.
Some Areas I’m currently Interested In (subject to change):
I have 10 point checklist I used to help me evaluate deals. None of these are requirements and this is not exhaustive but it helps me hone my intuition on the potential of a business to become a winner years down the road.
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The materials on this website are for illustration and discussion purposes only and do not constitute an offering. An offering may be made only by delivery of a confidential offering memorandum to appropriate investors. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.