Meet Eniac’s web3 portfolio

by Vic Singh and Dan Jaeck

Image: Unsplash/Rico Van de Voorde

It’s been almost exactly six months since Eniac first announced our crypto investment strategy. While the firm’s partners had been investing personally in the ecosystem for years, web3 was growing so quickly (especially developer growth) that we felt the need to rethink our approach as a firm.

Specifically, we implemented an on-ramp strategy into the space by writing checks that were smaller than the typical Eniac investment, with the ability to participate in syndicates and invest in token offerings as well. In doing so, we hoped to learn as much as possible about the most promising parts of the ecosystem while offering full partnership support to web3 founders and helping to push the ecosystem forward.

We’ve moved quickly since then, making more than 20 investments in web3 startups. (That number doesn’t include pre-crypto strategy investments that have subsequently moved into web3.) And we’re well on our way to our goal of making web3 one of our main investment areas, as we’ve begun writing larger “core” checks in the next phase of our on-ramp strategy.

As we move out of the initial phase, we thought it was worth recapping our portfolio thus far. We’ve grouped our bets into six broad themes — infrastructure, tooling, DeFi, wallets, Game-fi, and social. This list is not exhaustive, as many companies are still in stealth.

Infrastructure in web3 enables the creation of the next generation of great applications powering the larger ecosystem, building novel architectures and solutions for foundational web3 problems including scalability, security, decentralization, and latency. One of the more pressing issues in the space today is that while web3 is composable, development can be more labor intensive relative to web2, given the underlying infrastructure layer is incredibly nascent. We’ve made a concerted effort to invest in this fundamental base layer of software and tooling that will power the ecosystem.

Tooling could help unlock the next growth phase for decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). The category is underdeveloped, which in turn is creating friction for DAO management, participation, and member growth. We believe that the next generation of tooling development will help catalyze further DAO adoption and growth.

DeFi is the composable monetary backbone of all web3 innovation. We believe that DeFi is fundamental to powering the ecosystems that will be built in web3 — thus helping to facilitate the DeFi ecosystem is critical to the success of all web3 innovation.

Wallets, as we know them today, are still relatively rudimentary — made for safety and custody, with limited innovation in UX. We believe that wallets are going to be fundamental to both the social and developer ecosystem of web3. We are already seeing wallets begin to position themselves differently as the market becomes more and more saturated — they’re marketing themselves as either (1) more consumer friendly crypto on-ramp solutions or (2) dev-first plays — which has informed our investment thesis into the following:

Game-fi is unlocking new monetization opportunities for gamers while simultaneously creating a new UA and engagement mechanism for publishers. Moreover, we believe play-to-earn combines two of the most interesting aspects of web3 — (1) community building and (2) NFTs with utility.

Social in web3 remains incredibly nascent in both its adoption and formation. Most web3 discourse still occurs on web2 platforms (e.g., Discord, Twitter). We believe these users and corresponding conversation will gradually move to web3 native social platforms over time.

We’d like to thank all the web3 founders who allowed us to be a part of their important journey as well as the coinvestors and operators who provided access and knowledge as we on-ramped into the category. If you’re a founder building a project in the web3 design space, we’d love to hear from you!

We are just getting started! $🚀🚀🚀

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Eniac Ventures

We lead seed rounds in bold founders who use code to create transformational companies.