Client spotlight: Blockchain Valley Ventures
The role of blockchain and emerging technologies has evolved at a rapid pace over the last decade. So much so, that it is often a challenge to keep abreast of the latest developments surrounding these transformative technologies. However, one Delio client is using its expertise and interdisciplinary knowhow to build a portfolio of disruptive, blockchain-enabled businesses.
We spoke to Deyana Nedeva, Head of Investor Relations at Blockchain Valley Ventures (BVV), about how they are investing and supporting businesses incorporating emerging technologies.
Tell us a little about BVV’s mission and what you are aiming to achieve?
BVV is a thematic venture capital investor in the blockchain and disruptive technologies space. We support innovative businesses that are unlocking value through solving the challenge of operational and financial inefficiencies. Launched in 2018, we’re one of the first Venture Capital funds of this type in Switzerland and one of a small number of others operating across Europe. BVV is also one of only two European members of the Draper Venture network, a unique venture capital network that was established by renowned investor Tim Draper.
Leveraging on our track record of successful early stage investments in our first fund (40% gross IRR), we are currently launching a second VC fund with focus on Web3 technology and future of finance.
Additionally, we are capitalising on our emerging technologies competencies by investing in early stage digital assets and tokens through our digital assets fund.
What are the main differences that you see between investing in emerging technologies businesses and more traditional organisations?
As with any investment, due diligence is vitally important.
We place a huge emphasis on getting to know the team that will be executing the start-up’s vision. Who are the people behind the idea? Are they deep-rooted in the technology sector? Are they likely to be as adept at executing their plan as they are at coming up with a vision for their business? We operate in such a rapidly evolving market that these questions are all key to understanding if there is a viable investment opportunity for us.
The other main difference is our role in the process. BVV’s focus is on early stage ventures where the team has been formed and market validation has been proven.
What are the main challenges and opportunities you see from working with cutting-edge technology businesses?
As a result of the pace at which innovation technologies are evolving, an organisation’s market proposition often has to adapt and pivot more frequently than a ‘traditional’ business. As a result, flexibility is key; both in terms of their business and the wider technology landscape. Our most successful partnerships tend to be with entrepreneurial teams that combine the ability to future gaze, while still keeping one eye on shorter-term goals.
In terms of opportunities, it’s genuinely rewarding to work with ventures that are innovating and solving long-standing problems that have stifled efficiency and growth. Half of start-ups fail because they can’t source the capital to grow their business, so to be able to support exciting new businesses in this way, help them to create new jobs, and see how their product develops is hugely satisfying.
How has Delio’s technology supported you on your journey?
BVV uses Delio’s technology to promote and distribute information around our whole portfolio of investments. For us, the ability to quickly and efficiently introduce investors to new early stage technology investment opportunities through our platform is invaluable.
In my opinion, venture capital is all about building relationships. Some people don’t necessarily equate technology with achieving these personal connections, but the fact that we can use Delio’s technology to manage all aspects of our investment process saves us significant amounts of time. This can then be reinvested into speaking with investors, engaging with our portfolio businesses, and working smarter.
Given that you’re working with businesses and investors with an obvious interest in cutting edge technology, how important is it that your investment opportunities are presented in a tech-led way?
The VC industry is now demanding tech-led solutions having been very traditional in its approach for many years. This is where Delio’s technology and their regulatory expertise has been invaluable for BVV.
Delio has also added value beyond its core technology. Their ability to offer BVV regulatory support in the UK has been a huge bonus as it has opened up access to investors that we would have otherwise been unable to engage with. This is something that we haven’t previously been able to do and would have struggled to achieve without our partnership with Delio.
What do you see the future of Blockchain being over the next 5-10 years?
The adoption of blockchain technology and the products and services it supports is growing rapidly. We witness blockchain technology applications being used across sectors including finance, healthcare, insurance, luxury goods to name a few. Especially in the financial sector we already see blockchain technology’s transformative impact on existing legacy systems. What I can say with confidence is that the financial and human capital being deployed for development of these new technologies will foster innovation and new opportunities.
The ultimate winner in this scenario will be the end client. Blockchain will create new markets and reflect the changing demographics of clients, who are very comfortable with these new technologies. It’s an exciting time ahead.