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What the crypto-angel Gil Penchina looks for in an ICO

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Investor Angel Gil Penchina spoke last week at StartEngine in Santa Monica, California. The San Francisco-based entrepreneur has invested in Brave, Ripple and PayPal, and is a co-founder of Pryze, a decentralized protocol of sweepstakes. A technology investor for 20 years, Mr. Penchina opened his speech with a joke that he had invested in the first cryptocurrency ever made.

"A company called PayPal in 1998," says the partner Ridge.VC . "If you look at the PayPal business model in 1998, it was literally Tether." They collected US Dollars, [and] for every dollar of PayPal there was USD in the bank account. had no expense and, shockingly, it did not work at the time. "

In his speech, Mr. Penchina discussed a little about what he is looking for in an investment.

"The classic investor stories are things like pick-and-shovel companies," he said. "So no matter who wins, the company of picks and shovels always sells more picks and shovels."

He is also looking for "impressive teams". What is impressive?

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"[It’s] They were not working at Google or Stanford," said Penchina. "It's a kind of intensity – you see it in the sparks coming off of someone when they're out there jostling in. You see it in the narrative and their ability to you." to excite about what they do. "

He added, "It helps to have massive markets, I prefer not to go into the restaurant business."

Speaking of massive markets, Mr. Penchina commented on why he likes ACIs.

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"The good thing about ICOs, you see a guy who raised $ 100 million – $ 200 million," he said. "That means they're probably going to have money to do some damage."

Mr. Penchina says that he also looks for things "to stay dominant, things like network effects and other types of moats you can have."

Some examples?

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"Guardians of the sale of chips," he said. "Another example is infrastructure – companies like the Ethereum Foundation and the Civic [entail] have nice network effects where people use them for everything.I think Filecoin will also be one of those platforms for basic infrastructure. "

Mr. Penchina sees iconic saleskeepers as companies like Cointopia, Polymath, Simple Token, as well as his company Pryze, who help ICO operators manage their ICOs or market them to potential contributors.

"The more ICO there are, the more these companies will make money," said Penchina. "With the return of the market, you will see another wave or a frenzy."

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