Over the last decade, Gigi has turned into one of the most prolific technology investors in Israel; he’s a two-time CEO, founder, board member, and super-angel. Currently, he is the managing partner with NFX, a top Silicon Valley venture capital firm, and he is also known as a keen blockchain investor being involved with well-known projects (such as Bancor and Civic).
Aside from his work in financial industries, Gigi is also a board member of ‘MEET — the Middle East Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow’. This organization brings together young Israeli and Palestinian leaders to create positive change through technology and entrepreneurship.
In 2004, Gigi got his M.B.A. at Kellogg Graduate School of Management and he became a pilot in the Israeli Air Force after that. He also got actively involved with a number of non-profit organizations in Israel. He speaks Hebrew, English, Spanish, and French, and lives in Israel with his wife and three children.
Gigi has been covered by Forbes, Business Insider, TechCrunch, Financial Times, and more alike. Side-note: he also was a pilot in the Israeli Air Force.
We asked him some questions for you to get to know him better.
Interview with Gigi
> An angel investor, a managing partner with top Silicon Valley venture capital firm NFX, and also into blockchain. Can you elaborate some more about what you do exactly?
“I started my career as an entrepreneur and founded six companies over the years. At a certain point — after selling one of the startups — I turned into an executive and ran various companies including 888 (the LSE traded gaming company). Then, a few years ago, I moved to investing in startups — initially as an angel and the last few years as a VC in NFX (nfx.com), which is a Silicon-Valley and Israel top early-stage fund, also investing in blockchain projects. In the last nine months, I’ve been incubating a stealth blockchain infrastructure project. So overall, I’m pretty busy…”
> How did you get into the blockchain space and what are you most passionate about?
“I started buying Bitcoin about 4–5 years ago (not enough though!), and invested in my first blockchain venture more than three years ago. Over the years, I invested in many blockchain projects, including Civic, Bancor, Basis, Synerso, DAOstack, Spacemesh and others.
“I am a big believer in the power of decentralization, the democratization of data, and the philosophical change decentralization brings to the business world.”
Like everyone else in the industry I am waiting to see the first successful dApps, and as such today my focus areas are:
Infrastructure and development tools — it is unbelievable how tough it is to build and scale a decentralized app today, compared to the ease of building a central app on the AWS PaaS for example. This must change, and I am looking into ventures looking to make dApp development and scaling must easier. Actually, I’m currently running a stealth project called Tectonic, which we may talk about for the first time during the conference.
Layer 1 protocols — while ETH, EOS and others are already operational, I believe there is room for further infrastructure protocols, which will address the shortfalls of existing models. Spacemesh is a good example of such a protocol that can truly revolutionize the industry. I am also looking at core protocols which are beyond the core blockchains, such as DAOstack, solving the problem of decentralized governance, a critical problem for the success of the ecosystem.
Exchanges — I still think there is significant room for innovation in regulated exchanges, both centralized and decentralized. Our first investment in the area — dx.exchange — is going live soon.”
> Looking at your company history, the most represented sectors are Internet, software and gaming. In which sectors do you think blockchain can be most valuable?
“I think that blockchain will be initially represented in enterprises, where a few projects will go live in the coming 18 months. Also, financial services… Another area I believe in is asset tokenization, where the ability to create trust in a trustless environment is critical, as well as data trading. I see blockchain as a perfect technology for those.
Like many innovative technologies, games and gambling will also be early use cases. We’ve already been seeing it emerging over there, but I am not sure these will be sustainable projects over time.”
> Why are you interested in Beyond Blocks and this region?
“I have found Beyond Blocks to be a great platform for connecting with the Asian blockchain community. Interestingly enough, blockchain technology and the associated regulation are making it easier to build and launch companies in jurisdictions outside the traditional tech centers. Therefore, the importance of Asia is growing. As such, Beyond Blocks is the perfect event for me to attend and connect to innovation in the region.”
That’s it for now! If you want to hear more, make sure you join our fireside chat with Gigi at Beyond Blocks Summit Bangkok 2018.
Too long of a wait? Here’s a good read from Gigi about ‘The Future of Fundraising’. In this article, he talks about what we need to fix regarding token investing and briefly discusses STOs. If you’d like to read more about the topic of STOs, read our article on STOs vs ICOs here.
“In the not too distant future, many companies will issue security tokens instead of shares” — Gigi Levy-Weiss
These topics will certainly be addressed at #bbbkk2018
For the current agenda, click here