I do research. I've done research for policymakers, large companies, startups, and now I do it to make investments in early-stage startups. I spend my days learning stuff and seeing if I can find a nugget of insight. I think I've had two useful nuggets so far.
- The first was in 2015 working on a project on blockchains for Intel Labs was that blockchains and especially blockchains with smart contracts was a new computing platform not just technology to support cryptocurrencies. This was fleshed out at Outlier Ventures as our investment strategy and we are close to calling this correct both directionally and in terms of timing. Read: The Convergence Stack
- The second, published earlier this year, is that privacy-enhancing technologies are misunderstood by the market. They actually enable new forms for collaborative computing and are fundamental pieces of the next era of web technology. It's too early to tell if I'm right. Read: The Coming Age of Collaborative Computing
- I'm hoping next year I will have something else around the theme of "post big-data". There is something in the intersection of cryptography, hardware for edge computing, reinforcement learning and simulation that is interesting.
- There is also a bigger macro nugget, maybe a book one day, that is on the theme of moving beyond data and a dominance of computer science towards knowledge from a synthesis of computer science and humanities. Something like 'natural philosophy for the age of AI'. But I mean that sounds pretty grand, and I am just a man sitting in his pants writing on the Internet so.. 🤷
⚡ Lunar Ventures // Research Partner (2020 - Present)
I'm a research partner with Lunar Ventures, a European early-stage deep tech venture fund. I try to figure out what the future might look like and invest in startups building it. I am interested in anything deep tech related that might be important in the future, and I'm actively exploring:
- Privacy-enhancing technology like homomorphic encryption and multi-party computation
- Cryptographically secure data infrastructure with things like data unions and data markets
- Edge hardware with things like analog computing, photonics, and neuromorphic computing
We've invested in:
- Mutable is building the public edge cloud: aggregating excess edge compute capacity, and supplying application developers with low-latency compute services
- Mobius bulids a cross-OS computer vision SDK for the edge, with unparalleled performance on noisy and small datasets
- Kyso builds a data science collaboration platform and knowledge hub, to easily produce, revision, share and circulate data insights
- Molecule is a cutting edge decentralized financial platform to fund drug discovery and innovation in the pharma industry.
- Neurolabs builds a data synthesis platform, empowering computer vision engineers to build better machine learning models
- Zama builds homomorphic encryption, preserving security for machine learning services
- NannyML offers a monitoring suite detects drift, estimates model performance, and gives full control over decisions your machine learning algorithm takes
🎓 RadicalxChange // Strategy Lead (2020 - 2021)
Radicalxchange (RxC) is a global movement founded by Glen Weyl to support the development of next-generation political economies. It advances plurality, equality, community, and decentralization through upgrades of democracy, markets, the data economy, the commons, and identity.
I was involved in the project helping launch the fellowship program. Our aim was to bring together mission-driven individuals and teams working on projects that aim to strengthen civil society and rethink public goods. We explored four key topic areas with fellows: governance, property rights, data rights, and competition through interactive talks, networking, and mentorship. We were lucky to have supported a diverse group of fellows working on everything from a social impact venture fund, a data union, a private identity platform and many other valuable public goods.
🚀 Outlier Ventures // Partner and Head of Research (2016 - 2020)
I was with Outlier Ventures for about 4 years joining as the third team member. When I joined in early 2016 my job was to help figure out what to invest in. I authored a paper later in 2016 called Blockchain-Enabled Convergence arguing the future of crypto/blockchains was as a distribution/co-ordination layer for the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence. This paper formed the basis of our investment strategy leading to early investments into IOTA, Fetch.ai, and Ocean Protocol.
I later revised the thesis slightly in early 2018 in a follow up paper called the Convergence Ecosystem which incorporated some of the market developments and focused more on the importance of crypto-tokens and decentralised autonomous organisations. This paper led to investments in companies like Brave, Agoric, and OrbitDB.
🌐 WEF // Fellow, Centre for the Forth Industrial Revolution (2019 - Present)
🤝 Ocean Protocol // Advisor (2018 - Present)
🔐 Elemendar // Board Advisor (2020 - 2021)
💵 OECD // Member, Blockchain Expert Policy Advisory Board (BEPAB) (2019 - 2020)
📓 Frost & Sullivan // Technology Strategy Consultant (2013-2016)