The Hack Fund will use crypto to give startups early liquidity

Now that “utility” tokens have become a popular and international way to fund major blockchain projects, a pair of investors are creating a new way to turn tokens into true equities. The investors, Jonathan Nelson and Laura Nelson, have created Hack Fund, an early stage investment vehicle that allows startups to launch what amounts to […]

Now that “utility” tokens have become a popular and international way to fund major blockchain projects, a pair of investors are creating a new way to turn tokens into true equities. The investors, Jonathan Nelson and Laura Nelson, have created Hack Fund, an early stage investment vehicle that allows startups to launch what amounts to “blockchain stock certificates,” according to Jonathan.

“Our previous business model exchanged equity from startup companies for services, and wrapped that equity into funds that we then sold to investors. These fund investors have included family offices, institutions, and high net worth individuals,” said Jonathan. “However, Hack Fund represents a new business model. Because Hack Fund leverages the blockchain, investors all over the world at all levels can participate in startup investing by trading blockchain stock certificates. Also, its SEC compliant structure means that it is also available to a limited number of accredited investors in the US.”

The team originally created Hackers/Founders, a tech entrepreneur group in Silicon Valley, and they now support 300,000 members in 133 cities and 49 countries. Hack Fund is a vehicle to support some of the startups in the Hackers/Founders network.

“HACK Fund, through its Hackers/Founders heritage, has a large, unique global network,” said Jonathan. “This provides Hack Fund with unparalleled reach and deal flow across the global technology market. There are a few blockchain-based funds, but they are limited themselves to blockchain-only investments. Unlike typical venture funds, HACK Fund will provide quick liquidity for investors, leveraging blockchain technology to make typically illiquid private stocks tradeable.”

The idea behind Hack Fund is quite interesting. In most cases investing in a company leads to up to ten years of waiting for a liquidity event. However, with blockchain-based stock certificates investors can buy shares that can be bought and sold instantly while company performance drives the value up or down. In short, startups become liquid in an instant, which can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the founding team.

“HACK Fund is a publicly traded closed-end fund. The fund’s venture investments are valued on a quarterly basis by an independent third party, audited and posted to the blockchain for all token holders to review. There are no K-1 statements issued, there is no partnership/LLC, rather HACK Fund is an investment company akin to Berkshire Hathaway which invests in the same manner as early-stage venture capital,” said Jonathan.

The team is raising a little over $2 million in an ICO to build out the fund. They’ve already raised most of their $100 million total goal from individual investors but the ICO will let retail investors buy some of the tokens as they are made available on the BRD wallet.

Berkshire Hathaway reportedly agrees to buy stake in One97, owner of Paytm

Berkshire Hathaway has reportedly agreed to buy a stake in One97, the owner of India’s largest digital payments service Paytm . This would mark the first time the investment firm has invested in an Indian startup. According to Indian financial news site Mint, which first broke the news, Berkshire Hathaway, the investment firm headed by […]

Berkshire Hathaway has reportedly agreed to buy a stake in One97, the owner of India’s largest digital payments service Paytm . This would mark the first time the investment firm has invested in an Indian startup. According to Indian financial news site Mint, which first broke the news, Berkshire Hathaway, the investment firm headed by Warren Buffett, is set to buy shares worth about $300 million to $350 million, at a valuation of about $10 billion to $12 billion.

Another report in Bloomberg says Berkshire Hathaway will acquire a 3% to 4% stake in One97.

Paytm’s investors already include SoftBank, which led a $450 million round in Paytm earlier this year, and Alibaba. Already India’s largest digital wallet and payment service with 230 million registered users, Paytm has recently focused on adding a host of new mobile services that could potentially turn it into a WhatsApp competitor, including a messenger and games.

A spokesperson for One97 declined to comment. TechCrunch has also contacted Berkshire Hathaway.