150 Days in DeFi & Launching a Syndicate

What I would like to invest in and why...

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.

— Joseph Campbell

Hello, remember me?

As I wrote last July, all of life is an experiment, and if you’re not open to questioning the day-to-day / pushing boundaries / expanding horizons, then what are you doing?

Despite framing the issue in something as trivial as rejoining Instagram (spoiler: it didn’t last), its meta-application was this newsletter. After a year of writing concluded in Jan, I’ve been happily distracted by the brave new world of Web3 (for a primer in Web3, I’d recommend Packy’s Not Boring here).

So here we are 150+ days since my last correspondence and I’m happy to report some new learnings. As always, this is not financial advice, do your own due diligence.

  1. Nexo stablecoin yield (currently 8%) continues to serve as a hurdle rate for weighing the costs of other projects. Average cap rates for real estate in NYC are between 3-6%, while there are fringe benefits of owning rental properties, we can all agree that stablecoin yield is not only easier to start, but also more liquid and more accessible (no minimums). One correction I’d like to make is that Nexo isn’t DeFi, it was built on the foundation of a European bank, and is far easier to navigate than the react interfaces of many of the portals I’ll mention below.

  2. Pool Together is a no-loss lottery savings that incentivizes savings through more tickets for a weekly bounty. Stablecoin yields have dipped below my 8% hurdle, but this protocol is run with a sense of professionalism, that I admire. Further, they continue to push the envelope introducing pods and other tools that allow for a more level playing field.

  3. Ribbon.finance started as a covered call option strategy on ETH, but has since expanded to BTC and a USDC/ETH put-selling strategy. Again, the professionalism of their blog, white papers, and governance strategy gives me a lot of confidence in the project and the team behind it.

  4. Last but not least, Universe.xyz is building a fully decentralized and immutable NFT solution. In an interview with Kevin Rose, the founder (Tyler Ward) speaks to the importance of an uncensorable, yet community governed solution for permanent NFTs.

Any projects that you’re following?

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What’s next?

If DeFi isn’t enough risk/alpha for you, you’ll be happy to know that I’m launching an early-stage investing syndicate.

For the past few years, I’ve been angel investing and while liquidity events won’t likely happen for a while, I’ve realized just how impactful specific knowledge can be to a founding team in the early stages. It’s easy to think of great ideas for Fortune 500 companies, nearly impossible for those ideas to be heard, whereas a great idea can dramatically change the trajectory of an early-stage startup.

Click through to see a few ideas, spanning DeFi to health, that I’m actively searching for…

For those interested in learning more about early-stage investing and/or joining the syndicate, be sure to reach out. Please note, you must be an accredited investor, see criteria here.

If you’re accredited, book a quick chat with me here.

Lastly, thanks for joining this experiment. While I’m sure I’ll be writing again at some point, the updates may be a bit more intermittent as I focus nights and weekends on the fund.

This newsletter is my attempt at (a) sharing learnings with friends and family (b) becoming more vulnerable through transparency and (c) improving my writing. Thanks for reading, and please reply with your thoughts.

❤️ Armand