Ciaran Hynes, Managing Partner reveals that COSIMO Ventures is a pioneering, deep tech investment firm that helps transform promising, disruptive companies into global industry leaders. We invest in new technology paradigms such as Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence to disrupt global markets.
What are your main priorities and goals in your role?
As COSIMO X is an evergreen fund, all the Partners are constantly fundraising and we have monthly goals in that regard. As hands on investors we are also focussed on helping our portfolio companies in any way needed. That could entail re branding, financial modelling or honing go to market strategy.
What are your biggest challenges?
Raising money is never easy and always a challenge. That said as the first tokenized evergreen fund in the world we are in a unique position with our LP base. There is huge interest in Blockchain right now and most investor types are looking for access to this asset class. COSIMO X offers them exposure to a diversified portfolio of exciting companies in the space.
How do you keep your team/staff motivated?
My co-founder Robert Frasca and I hold weekly team meetings which keeps our team focused on company goals, keeps everyone engaged and deals with issues quickly as they arise.
What are the challenges facing your industry going forward?
I think one of the challenges in Venture Capital and Private Equity is the lack of liquidity. That is why we chose to tokenise our fund and have it list on a security token exchange. In addition we are immediately distributing 50% of any exit as they arise. This brings liquidity much earlier than the traditional 8 to 10 year time frame.
What new trends are emerging in your industry?
We are starting to see the tokenization of everything from property to gold and other commodities. Blockchain enables this to happen efficiently. Blockchain is having a transformative influence on Venture Capital also as it permeates every business and vertical.
Are there any major changes you would like to see in your sector?
I would like to see more people have access to investing in Venture Capital. That is why we have only a $10,000 entry point for non-US investors in COSIMO X and a $250,000 minimum for US accredited investors. This opens the asset class to a whole new type of investor who were previously excluded and that is a huge positive for the sector.
Are you finding any skills gaps in the market?
Blockchain developers are extremely hard to find and very expensive when you do.
How did your strategy develop in the context of the banking crisis and economic crisis?
COSIMO Ventures was formed five years ago post these events so our timing worked out well.
How will Brexit affect you, or have you started to feel the effects already?
We see more UK companies looking to the US first over Europe which is increasing our deal flow from that area. Irish companies are also looking at the US earlier when traditionally they would have considered the UK market first. So, nothing negative from our perspective.
How do you define success and what drives you to succeed?
Success for me is the personal satisfaction of working with great entrepreneurs to build successful companies and being part of their journey.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given, or would give, in business?
If you have Passion, Belief, Persistence and Gratitude ultimately you will be successful
What have been your highlights in business over the past year?
Working with Shane Brett CEO at Gecko Governance and watching him endure immense personal tragedy and come out fighting the other side. The other would be helping Oneiro to launch the world’s first buoyant virtual currency, ndau in May this year. (ndau.io)
What’s next for your company?
Raise more money and invest in more great entrepreneurs.
What opportunities or plans for growth do you see in 2019?
Like I said earlier Blockchain is a massive opportunity and as adoption increases globally, I believe it will change the world the way the Internet did.
Where do you want your business/brand to be this time next year?
The world’s leading investment company in Blockchain and other deep technologies.