The Last Investment

The little seed fund we started back in November of 2016 has reached the end of its investment period.  We just closed our last investment. 

The Last Investment

The little seed fund we started back in November of 2016 has reached the end of its investment period.  We just closed our last investment.  The fund is closed to any new investments and we aren’t raising another fund. So far, we have had some nice markups on companies we invested in.  The total fund is doing well, but it will be a few years before we realize cash on cash exits.

This week, we invested in MLTech.  We met them through the Chicago Booth New Venture Challenge.  They placed in the Top 10.  This was a convertible debt seed round. ML is hiring.  This is a tremendous opportunity for an engineer to hop on a great company in the most innovative space going right now, crypto.

We are excited to work with Leo, Markus, Ying, and the rest of the team.  We are really looking forward to being with them on this ride.  Prior to our investment, they had put together a strong cadre of angels in their round.  The team has extensive experience in the hedge fund or trading industry and will put it to use for ML.  Many of the angels are from the trading industry too.  When we chatted with our LPs about this investment, a lot of them were super enthused about it since they are actively trading crypto today.  This investment fits our thesis and was a fat pitch down the middle.

MLTech is a B2B FinTech platform for researchers to connect with pools of capital. They are concentrating on research for cryptocurrencies, but their platform isn’t limited to that.  Not only do they connect the two sides, but MLTech has developed powerful technology to leverage.  It’s similar to the tech high-frequency traders use, so customers get access to super speedy execution.

Researchers can sign up here.  The MLTech platform leverages cutting-edge AI solutions and allows researchers to produce new strategies at an industry-leading pace. Strategies can rely on ML’s robust HFT capabilities to generate steady and consistent returns.   If you are a quant researcher, you understand the pain it is to try and make any money off your work.  ML makes it easy.

On the flip side, if you manage a pool of capital you are probably interested in access to cryptocurrency markets.  It’s hard to ignore the returns that others are getting in those markets.  However, it is hard to vet different strategies.  How do you make sense of it all?  Given all that has happened in crypto over the years, many people that run pools of capital are hesitant to jump in.  ML vets the research on its platform so pools of capital can be confident that what’s being shown is actual.  Plus, with ML’s tech, they get the best execution available.  ML de-risks the operations in crypto development and trading for pools of capital.

The other thing that is confusing about crypto is where you might trade.  There are a lot of exchanges.  ML has a standardized API that can work with all exchanges eliminating confusion and smoothing execution.

We are pretty pumped about the future of MLTech and what they are doing.  We think they can build a really big business.  It’s a great finale for our fund.


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