Even if traditional entrepreneurs have a fantastic business idea, typical fundraising processes require significantly more effort, time, and money. William Do, CEO of HOBBIT Investment, explained to VIR’s Hoang Dan why fundraising in crypto may offer an alternative that is best suited for blockchain-related projects.
In the current market conditions, how hard is it for projects to raise funds here?
|William Do, CEO of HOBBIT Investment
People tend to invest with an open mind when the market is good. When the market suffers, investors are more aware of their money. Hence, if a project aims to get investment during the downtrend period, it needs to have a stronger push than it would typically require. An intense pique of interest is the first step towards winning trust and possible investment from your potential investors. Indeed, it is difficult to do so, especially when investors are most likely to reject even a good project at the moment.
What do projects have to focus on, to persuade investors to work with them? Know your audience and gain your supporters. You have to go back to the core values of your project and what it offers. The power of your community of supporters could play an essential role in gaining the investors’ interest.
Actually, you need to collect all the ingredients and it has to be under certain conditions. Then, at the right moment, you introduce them to the market and the market will welcome the project. If not, then it is really hard for them to even look at your projects.
If the economy is bad, everyone is cautious about their money. They want to keep their money in their pockets. If you want money out of their pockets, you need to give them a stronger push than you normally would do. If you do that, people will look at your project with more intense feelings. If you don’t create intense feelings for them to look at your project, you already fail from the first moment that you present your project to the market.
In addition, you need to know two types of audience to convince them to jump on board. First, they are your community supporters who are using your products. The project should have a solid product to convince the community to support it. It can be your friends, family members and a circle of people around you who have to trust and believe in your products. From then, you will build a larger community.
The second type of audience you need to focus on to build is the support from investors. It doesn’t have to be financial investors. There can be many kinds of investors who fund your project in terms of time, effort, equipment, facilities, and even human resources. They will help you build slowly and surely the things that you lack when you raise funds. It is worth noting that investors will look at different aspects of the project including the chance of acquiring users, the solidity of the product as well as the community supporters.
What do you think are the main points that the government here needs to focus to make things easier for both developers and investors?
I believe that the Vietnamese government could assist and enhance the growth of the blockchain industry in Vietnam by providing access to clean and resourceful information. From then, both developers and investors can do their research to inspect and evaluate the quality of a project or an investor to make vital decisions.
Is it more important for developers to retain their original vision and core values, or to be flexible to change if the situation requires it? In addition, is quality more important than quantity?
While it is crucial to hold on tight to the core values, projects must be flexible in selecting the suitable strategies to cope with the situation at hand. If a project cannot adapt and adjust quickly to the fast-changing pace of the blockchain and crypto space, then it is hard for it to survive in the market.
As an investor, when deciding to invest in a project that is following a trend, I would look into how that new segment is going to help build our company’s ecosystem in the long run. So for me, the process of inspection and evaluation with lots of discussions will take place to ensure quality always comes first. If all investors do their homework, it will also pressure the projects to put quality on top because otherwise, there will be no funding.
I often see whether a project receives trust from its supporters like their families and friends. The way they treat their colleagues and support them is also important. Meanwhile, the viability of the ideas and the possibilities for scaling up are also taken into consideration. After careful consideration and an evaluation process with my team, I will go ahead and make the final investment decision.
William Do has more than 10 years of experience in startup branding, project development, and fundraising. For several years he has focused on the crypto space, taking on key advisory and incubator roles at highly-rated projects. HOBBIT Investment is a venture capital group that provides resources and incubation for blockchain startups and crypto initiatives.
Last month, a project that William and his HOBBIT Investment took on for the first time to lead fund and incubate had a successful initial DEX offering (IDO) across nine launchpads. Fight of the Ages (FOTA) marked an impeccable result when their IDO was sold out 5 minutes before the official launch. Before that, Will helped the pioneering blockchain game raise a total of $8.3 million in funding for the angel round.