Building an exceptional team
GD1’s focus is on pushing the envelope; on supporting and backing the innovators of tomorrow who will help radically reshape New Zealand’s economy. Our commitment to this theme of outsized innovation has seen us invest in the early stages of iconic kiwi companies such as Shuttlerock, UBCO, Auror, Foundry Lab and Runn, among many, many others.
In line with this, one of our core values at GD1 is the concept of ‘Believing bigger’ - the idea that we need to surround ourselves with others who dream aspirationally and who add further depth, capability, and knowledge to our collective journey at GD1. Much like the technology companies and founders who we invest in, we also invest in people who can help us expand our knowledge horizon and understanding of the wider technology ecosystem.
Nawaz Ahmed is one of these people - a widely renowned web3/crypto expert who will be spearheading GD1’s efforts into the web3/crypto space with the launch of GD1 Crypto Fund 1 - New Zealand’s first dedicated web3/crypto focused venture capital fund.
GD1 Crypto Fund 1 is a stand-alone venture capital fund (entirely separate to GD1 Fund 3) focused on investing in the best founders building web3 and crypto projects in New Zealand and around the world.
At GD1, we are immensely proud of our commitment to diversity, be it gender, ethnicity, experience, thought or general perspective. Similarly, we love working with individuals who show a real passion and zeal for the concept of ‘learning by doing’ - those who have the courage and ambition to build things from scratch without fear of judgment. Nawaz exemplifies these traits to the nth degree..
Ever since our paths first crossed in 2019, we have kept a keen eye on him and his endeavors in the web3/crypto space, and have been blown away by his strong angel investment track record, stellar global networks and genuinely empathetic approach to company building with the founders he engages with. All of these factors meant that now was an opportune moment for GD1 to launch a pioneering fund offering and secure the leadership and inhouse capability needed to confidently execute on our web3 ambitions.
Our (abbreviated) take on the industry and investment focus
Crypto has matured over the past decade, with a transition into ‘real world’ use cases and adoption. In saying that, it’s still early days for web3, based on the number of web3 users (somewhere between seven and 50 million active Ethereum users today, based on various on-chain metrics). Compared to the early internet, that places us somewhere around 1995 in terms of development and user uptake.
As web3 technologies and infrastructure improve and applications reach mass user bases, we envisage users increasing to over 1B in a decade, similar to how the internet reached 1B users in 2005.
With this in mind, we’ll be investing in infrastructure, tooling and projects across Decentralised Autonomous Organizations (DAOs), DeFi, NFTs and crypto across four broad verticals.
We explain each of these below:
Blockchain and decentralized autonomous organisations Infrastructure: This is a broad vertical which consists of infrastructure layer solutions that help in the scaling of blockchains and/or DAOs. These types of companies will include cross-chain and layer 2 bridging solutions and novel platforms, DAO infrastructure and tooling which makes the DAO process easier for both contributors and DAOs. These are the picks-and-shovels required to scale crypto and DAOs.
DeFi: We will be looking for novel DeFi solutions and applications that wouldn’t have been possible without using blockchain technology and the composability that blockchain allows.
Metaverse and creator economy (e.g. NFTs): This is once again a broad vertical which utilises NFTs and Social Tokens as an underlying core technology. We will be looking at next-generation metaverse solutions/applications and projects that benefit the rise of the creator economy.
Consumer apps: Applications that will onboard the next billion users to crypto are going to be crucial for crypto to become completely mainstream. These apps will make it easy for users to access, use, earn and spend crypto.
Why founders are as excited to partner with us; as we are with them
We’re deeply entrenched in the community…
We’re crypto natives and as natural users of many crypto and web3 projects, are able to provide early user feedback. We’re also active in projects’ discords - we contribute to the community and we participate in governance processes. We are growing the crypto ecosystem in NZ and APAC and will be your champions on this side of the world
We have skin in the game…
Because we have been working in the space since 2017, including personally investing in crypto and crypto projects, we have global networks and deep insight into how to support companies through market cycles. We have ‘diamond hands’ and partner with a long-term vision in mind.
We’re looking to deploy capital quickly and we’re quick to make decisions - we understand founders don’t like waiting for weeks for an answer. Since the launch of GD1 Crypto Fund 1, we have made three global investments alongside the best investors in the world, including Andresseen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins, True Ventures and others. (We will be disclosing these very soon!)
Get in touch if you’d like to learn more…