Alchemy, Ava Labs and BlockFi break down funding in a bear market at TC Sessions: Crypto • TechCrunch
Bears hibernate during the coldest months, but there’s nowhere to hide from a bear market during a crypto winter. As the entire sector faces what looks to be a long stretch of uncertainty, young founders must find a way to keep the funds flowing. But how?
This timely topic is why we’re thrilled that industry veterans Flori Marquez, founder and COO at BlockFi; Nikil Viswanathan, co-founder and CEO at Alchemy; and John Wu, president of Ava Labs, will join us onstage for a panel discussion called “Fundraising in Crypto Winter” at TC Sessions: Crypto on November 17 in Miami.
If anyone understands the highs, lows and overall volatility of the crypto market, it’s the three people on this panel. Marquez’s BlockFi recently signed a deal giving FTX US the option to buy the crypto lender she founded. Viswanathan’s Alchemy, one of the fastest-growing companies in technology history, raised a $200 million Series C1 last February, giving the web3 developer infrastructure startup a valuation just north of $10 billion.
Meanwhile, Wu’s Ava Labs is reportedly raising a $350 million funding round and looking at a potential valuation of slightly more than $5 billion. It’s a wild season for bulls and bears alike.
We’re curious to hear the panel’s take on how fundraising, cap tables and valuations have shifted given the market conditions — and whether startups will see recovery within the near term.
We’ll also ask these founders what they’re focused on when it comes to investing in crypto startups or projects, and which subsectors have the most opportunity for growth in a bear market. Learning how these three operators built and scaled their own startups through previous turbulent cycles in the crypto markets will be informative.
Both Marquez and Wu entered crypto with traditional finance backgrounds while Viswanathan comes from Big Tech. Hearing how fundraising in the crypto space differs from those worlds — and how it has evolved from prior bear markets — will also be a worthwhile perspective. Don’t miss what’s sure to be a fascinating and valuable discussion.
Flori Marquez, BlockFi founder and COO, oversees the company’s operations, client service, people, engineering and retail product teams. Since founding the company with Zac Prince in 2017, Marquez has built and managed critical functions, including the trading, risk, compliance and marketing teams.
Marquez has spent her career managing alternative lending products. She served as head of portfolio management — and helped build, scale and optimize a $125 million portfolio — at Bond Street (acquired by Goldman Sachs). She managed all operations from point of origination through default and litigation.
Prior to Bond Street, Marquez helped develop and maintain institutional partnerships at Oak Hill Advisors, a $30 billion fixed-income asset manager.
Nikil Viswanathan is the co-founder and CEO of Alchemy, a leading blockchain developer platform valued at more than $10 billion. The company is backed by top investors, including Coatue, a16z, Lightspeed, Silver Lake, Pantera and many more.
Viswanathan received his BS and MS in computer science from Stanford, and formerly worked in product management at Google, Microsoft and Facebook. A serial entrepreneur, Viswanathan co-created the social app Down To Lunch, and he was listed on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list.
As president of Ava Labs, John Wu aims to open up financial services and products for everyone. He brings more than 20 years of expertise as a fintech executive and technology investor to creating a blockchain-enabled solution for originating, issuing and trading financial assets.
Previously, Wu built and led the digital assets business at SharesPost, where he served as CEO of the Digital Assets Group. Prior to that, he was a technology investor and the founder of Sureview Capital, a global hedge fund backed by the Blackstone Group.
Wu began his investment career at Tiger Management before managing a global technology portfolio at Kingdon Capital. He received his MBA from Harvard University and holds a BS in economics from Cornell University.
TC Sessions: Crypto takes place on November 17 in Miami. Take advantage of our Early Bird pricing and save $150. Buy your pass today, and then join the leading voices and visionaries in the blockchain, DeFi, NFT and web3 communities.
Is your company interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at TC Sessions: Crypto? Contact our sponsorship sales team by filling out this form.