Lucas Mateu is the co-founder and CEO of Vent Finance, a community crowdfunding platform for blockchain projects.he sat down with Jessica Arbo Explains how Vent works and why people call his company the Kickstarter of cryptocurrencies.
Jessica Arbo: Lucas, tell us about your company.
Vent Finance is a multi-chain launchpad and accelerator. This is a platform that operates on the Web3 space and accepts projects and brings them to interested investors. It allows us to take the complexity of building tokens and bring them to market and dilute them into a very, very understandable concept and platform to acquire and buy those tokens. We work with all types of projects, from games to platforms, crypto tokens and anything you can think of. We make sure that they have the right indicators, the right technology, to be able to enter the market.
Your company sounds like a Kickstarter for cryptocurrency. Do you think so?
This is the core of our work. The difference is our involvement with the company. Kickstarter is more of a gateway because they have a panel and they have a payment gateway. They’ll process the credit card and then basically send you the funds as soon as we hit that threshold. That’s not what we do. Our platform has a layer of trust. This level of trust actually comes from community and governance support. This means that projects must be submitted to us, usually through a partner or community member. And then we really have to assess whether they have what it takes to get into the accelerator.
There are two types of projects we work with. Whether it’s a project that we incubate ourselves, we call it a Vent original project, or a project that actually has a very high level. All we do is connect them with the resources they need. But as a company or as a project, there is definitely high added value, and Kickstarter is more about scale. Over the past 10 months, we’ve launched about 13 projects to give you an idea, and Kickstarter has probably launched hundreds of projects in the same time frame.
Why do you think there is always this separation between blockchain and other technologies?
When you think about big tech companies, these are very hardcore companies, I would say they have very hierarchical boards and mandates. That’s exactly what a lot of people in the crypto space don’t like, we want to build something that doesn’t depend on people like these people. So when we think of a product as a technology, we definitely want to bring the simplicity of any Web2 product (like Uber) or any other app you’ll use (like Instagram). But we need to take advantage of the technology and ownership of this gig economy/Web3 space. It’s still the same technology. We are still using the same equipment and none of that has changed. We are changing who owns the infrastructure. And then we’re also changing who builds on it. What kind of rules are there? Are there shareholders? Does the concept even apply to this field?
Given your expertise, how do you think entrepreneurs should choose between venture capital and crowdfunding?
I don’t think one will remove the other mainly because racing appetites are very different. If you ask yourself, would you spend $10 on a newbie idea you saw on Kickstarter? Maybe you’ll say, you know what, I think it’s a good idea. I would put $10 in, but if I asked you to put 20% of your savings into a company that may or may not be successful. You’d say, you know what, maybe that’s not what I want. But a venture capitalist is professional and knows how to evaluate and how to follow up. This has insurance and all the other tools, maybe they can take that risk. So I think the combination of the two is very important.
What has changed in the world of cryptocurrencies and Web3 is bringing so many people together and using this digital asset as a tool, a token. It just lets you really give that sense of ownership or distributed money, in a way that’s way beyond what the crowdfunding platforms that exist in the traditional space can do. So to me, it’s a combination of getting some really good VCs who believe in your ideas and can support you with high stakes over the long term. And then as soon as possible, once you have something tangible, you can go and say, ‘Hey, community, this is what I’m building. Then they understand the complexity of the product. They were like, ‘Cool. I want to be a part of it. You can ask for something in return.