April 22, 2022
Team Profile: Nick Chen, Investor and Web3 Lead
What do you do at Georgian?
As a member of our Investment Team, I spend a lot of my time running deals and working with our portfolio companies. This often includes working with our R&D and Customer Success teams to execute on value-add projects that help our companies grow faster and more efficiently.
For the past year, I’ve collaborated with leaders across the organization to drive Georgian’s exploration into Web3 from a research, thesis-building and investment strategy perspective. It’s a natural evolution of the cross-functional thesis development process I’ve helped to shape over the years across our Trust and Applied AI theses.
What were you doing before you joined Georgian?
Before I joined Georgian six years ago, I worked in technology investment banking and economic consulting roles in San Francisco and New York. I also founded and sold an online radio channel and record label, which deepened my interest in understanding internet business models.
What matters most to you in your role?
At Georgian we’re constantly learning new things and digging into how technology is shaping the world. Innovation is central to everything we do at Georgian, and I particularly enjoy the myriad opportunities to partner with and work alongside entrepreneurs tackling big ideas in new spaces. I relish the challenge and process of diving deep into disruptive technology trends like AI and blockchain, and building frameworks that institutionalize and apply this knowledge to give us a strategic edge.
You mentioned Web3 earlier. Why should it be on LPs’ radars?
Web3 represents a major technology shift that will drive long-term positive change in the global economy. In simple terms, it’s a new vision for rewriting internet business models that leverages blockchain technology to provide benefits to all stakeholders in a system, not just company shareholders. This specifically aligns with our trust thesis; the virtues of fair value exchange, democratized access, privacy and transparency are alive and well in Web3.
While significant opportunities for Web3 disruption exist in areas like the $22T financial services industry, Web3 will effect change in all major industries, from social media and advertising to supply chain and cloud infrastructure.
Although a small fraction of the global population has interacted with the blockchain, the pace of innovation in this space has been faster than any other technology shift before it — much faster than adoption of the internet itself — and we expect that to continue over the next few years at an increasing pace.
Who in the portfolio have you been working with most recently?
For the past year I’ve been leading Georgian’s research and exploration into the Web3 space, and through this I’ve developed a close working relationship with IEX. I’ve spent the past 10 months helping the company develop their Web3 strategy and capabilities, and have been involved in key product and regulatory workstreams as the company launches its new “digital assets” business.
IEX operates a regulated national equities exchange and the current US regulatory environment for crypto / digital assets represents an enormous opportunity for the company to leverage its trusted brand and technology leadership in the equities market to make a difference in this new one.
The recent announcement of IEX’s partnership with FTX US is a leap forward in solidifying its position as a key player in the space. Last week, the company also launched its first blockchain product called Dispatch, a communications platform for token projects to send “on-chain” messages to their communities, analyze on-chain data, and segment their holder base while prioritizing individual privacy and safety.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I’m a three-season golfer always trying to fix a different part of my game, and during the dreaded winter months, you’ll find me on the mountain with my snowboard. I’m also a big movie buff, a foodie and an audiophile who loves discovering new things!
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