Mergelane Blog

Broadening the On-ramp for Women-run Companies

Episode #9 - Cryptocurrency Venture Investing: The Questions Every VC Should Ask Before Making a Crypto Investment

In this Fund81 podcast interview, Dave Balter, the CEO of one of our MergeLane portfolio companies, Flipside Crypto, shares his perspective on investing in the cryptocurrency space.

I invited Dave to join us for four reasons:

1) He is one of the most engaging and entertaining speakers I know.

2) He has the ability to explain complex things in an easy-to-understand way - something I have found rare in the cryptocurrency space.

3) He is obsessed with and extremely knowledgeable about cryptocurrency.

4) Because he is both a serial entrepreneur and a venture investor, he has an interesting perspective from both sides of the table.

About Flipside Crypto
Flipside Crypto has developed algorithms to track cryptocurrency performance indicators. Flipside licenses this data to institutions and uses its technology and provides investment opportunities for accredited investors via its indexes. The company also manages the process of acquiring and storing cryptocurrency to alleviate the headache of potentially confusing things like encryption and digital wallets. Flipside closed a $3.4 million financing round led by True Ventures three months after MergeLane’s investment. Coinvestors include the Chernin Group, Resolute Ventures, Boston Seed Capital, Converge, and Founder Collective.

About Dave Balter
Dave Balter is the founder and CEO of Flipside Crypto, a provider of data solutions and investment vehicles for cryptocurrencies. Dave has spent most of his career as an innovation‐obsessed builder of companies, most often as a founder and CEO, but occasionally as a board member, advisor or investor. Dave is also an active venture investor and M&A professional. As an operator, Dave is probably best known for Smaterer, which he founded, led, and sold to Pluralsight in 2014 and BzzAgent, which he founded, led, and sold to dunnhumby in 2011. Post BzzAgent acquisition, Dave acted as Global Head of Investments for dunnhumby and founded dunnhumby Ventures. Dave is also an independent angel and venture partner at Boston Seed Capital. Dave’s investments have included DraftKings, Promoboxx, FitnessKeeper, and Help Scout. Dave was named one of the 30 most disruptive people in Boston tech by Boston Magazine in 2016, was a finalist for the E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year, and was recognized as a future legend by the Ad Club. He cofounded the Word of Mouth Marketing Association and authored two books on the subject including Grapevine and the Word of Mouth Manual Volume II. A long time Techstars mentor, Dave also co-founded Intelligent.ly, a classroom space that helps star employees become managers with his wife, Sarah Hodges, and sits on the Board of Directors for the Boch Center for the Performing Arts.  

Enjoy!






Related Posts

Episode #18: Assessing Hustle with the Hustle Fund

Elizabeth Yin, co-founder and general partner at the Hustle Fund, shared her thoughts on how to assess a startup’s ability to “hustle”. Her thoughts are applicable to venture capitalists, startups and anyone who wants to work with hustlers. 

Read more ➞

“Sorry for the Delay”? I Don’t Accept Your Apology

Nearly every email I receive starts with “Sorry for the delay.” Our always-on culture has set an unwritten expectation that an email should be responded to within 24 hours. To prevent the perpetuation of this cultural expectation, I would like to make my thoughts clear.

Read more ➞

Fund81 Fall Startup Showcase: Four Startups Sourced from Our VC Forum

We asked our Fund81 forum for venture capitalists to nominate portfolio companies to participate in a startup showcase. We received over 50 nominations. Four of those startups are featured in this episode. 

Read more ➞

Episode #16: Investing in AI – The New Metrics, Milestones, and Playbooks for AI-driven Startups

Jocelyn Goldfein from Zetta Venture Partners joined the Fund81 podcast to share her approach to investing in artificial intelligence (AI). With the cost of creating software continuing to decline, Zetta believes the companies of the future will need to build more than just great software to thrive.

Read more ➞

Episode #15: Fitting Fitness into a Startup Schedule with Nicole DeBoom

I love being active, but I also have high professional aspirations. I’ve spent the last 16 years trying to find a productive balance between the two. In this episode, Nicole DeBoom, pro triathlete turned CEO of Skirt Sports, and I share our thoughts on how to fit fitness into a startup schedule.

Read more ➞

Episode #14: VC Fundraising with David Cohen | Moving LPs to a Yes

Fundraising doesn’t come naturally to David Cohen, founder and co-CEO of Techstars, but he’s learned how to leverage his strengths and team to successfully raise the funds that power the Techstars network. In this episode, he shares his honest and authentic reflections from this experience.

Read more ➞

How Conscious Leadership Bought Me 5 Hours of Extra Time Each Day

I practice the principles of Conscious Leadership, a methodology and toolkit that accelerates self-awareness. It’s being taught at companies like Yahoo, Goldman Sachs and Ebay and has forever changed every aspect of my life. I estimate that it has bought me about five hours of extra time each day.

Read more ➞

Episode #13: Mental Health in Venture Capital with Brad Feld

In this Fund81 podcast episode, I invited Brad Feld, founding partner of Foundry Group, to share his thoughts on maintaining mental health in the fast-paced venture capital world and supporting portfolio companies, colleagues, friends and family wrestling with mental health issues.

Read more ➞

Episode #12: Unexpected Product Pitfalls in Venture Investing

SC Moatti joined the Fund81 podcast to talk about how to discover and vet products in venture capital. We talk about how VCs can spot indications of future product success, creative ways to look under the hood before investing, and the product-related questions most venture capitalists fail to ask.

Read more ➞

The Top 9 Investor Pitch Mistakes

I’ve seen thousands of startup investor pitches. Since I find myself offering the same feedback over and over, I thought it might be helpful to share my nine most common points of investor pitch feedback.

Read more ➞