A Guide for Entrepreneurs: How to Find the Right Venture Capital Partner
Why I chose Decasonic at the forefront of Web3
By Danny Pantuso, Venture Investor, Decasonic
Now that I’ve joined Decasonic as a Venture Investor, the world seems full of possibilities. I chose Decasonic for the same reason I would if I were a founder - it’s an all super-star team, with a deep expertise and focus in one industry, and a fondness for those that dream big. Decasonic invests in product-centric companies building at the bleeding edge of consumer adoption in blockchain, web3 and metaverse. In this capacity, I’ll be spearheading our deal flow generation and be working with founders to find Product Market Fit for the mainstream user.
To my fellow entrepreneurs out there, it would be my pleasure to learn more about what you’re working on, and ultimately fund it. Think of this as a sign that you should reach out.
Why I’m Excited: We Obsess about the Mainstream Adopter
2023 is a bear market for traders, but it’s a bull market for builders. I used to be bearish on crypto, but today I see huge potential as the industry refocuses around everyday use. These are the buy-low moments that make for generational investments, and it’s a privilege to be a part of the team at this moment in time.
What immediately struck me about Decasonic was the caliber of execution and our obsession for everyday applications of blockchain. It’s a culture of substance over hype, on use cases for mainstream end users, and a relentless pursuit of bringing blockchain to the billions. I’m here to help founders make the critical leap from zero to one, and to leverage my experience building web2 products from the ground up to help web3 founders build for the mainstream. Decasonic as a whole takes a product first approach to seed investing. Our alpha is helping founders find product market fit in web3, and in providing tangible blueprints for delivering this breakthrough technology to the mainstream.
In particular, I’m taking a deep dive into AI powered web3, Web3 Gaming (Asset creation, new play mechanics, web3 on ramps, marketplaces, play-to-own mechanics), Web3 Social (communications, community organization, sessions, auth) Web 2.5 (wallet obfuscation, hybrid platforms), Interoperable experiences (metaverse middleware, metaverse commerce), IoT, Real World Assets (RWA) and International Adoption.
How I Got Here: Roots in Silicon Valley, Startups and now Chicago
You could say Venture Capital is in my veins. My parents were managing partners at NeoCarta Ventures and some of my earliest memories involved meeting with founders at the offices in Menlo Park, in the heart of Sand Hill Road. That’s also where I first met Paul Hsu, when he was working in the same role I now do today. Inspired by the entrepreneurs I interacted with growing up, my path led me to the heart of it all at Stanford, where I studied design thinking at the D.School on the frontier of entrepreneurship and technical innovation. Upon graduating, I turned down a Product Manager job at Microsoft in Silicon Valley for the same role 10 thousand miles away in Iceland. In my calculus, the risk was staying in my home town and stagnating. Having spent my life in Silicon Valley, I realized that the magic there is – more than anything else – a mindset that anything is possible. I figured I’d just take it with me to a land I had never visited, knew no-one, and where the Sun never rises in the winter. In Iceland, I honed my product skills and led two development teams at Iceland's largest travel market place. When COVID hit I was out of a job and a work permit, but I was full of bright ideas and an entrepreneurial spirit
. Before I knew it, my roommate/cofounder and I raised $500,000 from angels in Reykjavik and we were battling for market share of Nordic takeaway/delivery. The journey there ended as 90% of other startups do, but in the process I experienced firsthand the thrill of the ride and the immense gift of having the right investors backing you.
In summer of 2021, I moved to Chicago to help take Fubo Sportsbook from an 8 man operation to 80. As the first product manager at the company, I built our product practices and MVP sportsbook from scratch. There, we pioneered a TV <> Sportsbook integration in the newly legalized market of American sports betting, and I fell down the web3 rabbit hole while researching crypto competitors. The tech crunch of late 2022 spelled the end of Fubo Sportsbook, but in the process of working there, I had fallen in love with crypto and found myself shortly on the path where nearly all web3 product roads lead to in Chicago: Decasonic.
Generative art prompted by Danny Pantuso using Dalle2 - Crypto Spring
Where We Can Go Together: Reach Out
I’m always looking to chat with founders, and if you or someone you know is building in the web3 space, it would be my pleasure to chat. You can reach me 7 days a week on my Telegram: @danpanology or my email danny at decasonic dot com.
Even if you’re just in the ideation phase, it would be my pleasure to talk through your idea and streamline it into something we will fund. As part of our Founders Before They’re Founders program we regularly host workshops and brainstorming sessions with the people who obsess about web3 the way we do. Ping me to learn more about these workshops, or better yet, let’s cohost one together. You can also find me on discord gaming with friends, on the courts playing tennis, or reading up on the latest crypto news in our office in West Loop.
To new futures. Danny Pantuso