Crypto Take Over in Lisbon


November 17 2021
3 minutes
Words: Michael Joyce
Images: Wayne Trevor Townsend

There’s no doubt that Crypto is on the rise, with over €790m invested into crypto in Europe so far this quarter.  Isomer has made a number of investments into Crypto VC managers, and continuing our work to discover more high quality emerging managers in this space, Michael took a trip to Lisbon, to attend numerous crypto events around ETHLisbon, Liscon, NEAR Con, and Solana Break Point. 
After a busy week of meet-ups, drinks and even organised crypto running events, Michael reflected on his key takeaways from the week, and what he is most excited about in the Crypto space: 

Web3 continues to be an exciting and dynamic space to participate in, learn about, and invest into. We’ve already made a few crypto commitments in the past three years. However, we are always on the look-out for ambitious, smart, talented emerging managers in the space. As an LP, I have a few takeaways from my time in the sun that I’d like to share with you.

  • Touro: It goes without saying, but there’s an exciting energy among Web3 entrepreneurs, projects, and VCs. It’s hard to pay attention to Web2 when Web3 is ushering in a new value creating paradigm. That said, many visitors to Lisbon noted how fast the market is moving, both in terms of deal closure and capital allocation. Multiple investors and entrepreneurs are hoping for a new crypto winter to “get back to work” and avoid the noise, but the bull shows no sign of laying down just yet.
  • Talent, talent, talent: As they say in real estate, location, location, location. In our world, it’s talent, talent, talent. There’s been numerous announcements and anecdotal evidence that gives us some indication of the talent flow, but seeing it in person confirmed our suspicions. Some of the smartest people are moving into Web3 and those that are already here, continue to dedicate their time to building the value layer of the internet.
  • Crypto VC edge: We had the chance to speak to several entrepreneurs while soaking up the sun. When asked how their fundraising was going and whether they have spoken to non-crypto VCs, the answer was always no. Our conversations lead us to believe that non-crypto investors are often viewed sceptically within the community (and sometimes VCs in general). Those not dedicated to Web3 appear to have a hard time understanding the memes and the newly forming, largely online, culture. As such, we continue to believe that we need dedicated crypto specialists to find the signal in the noise. We met several new and newly forming managers on the ground in Lisbon.
  • Beyond Ethereum: Ethereum has rightfully been the focus of numerous conferences, but newer chains like Solana and NEAR appear to be on the upswing in terms of token value and network participation. Several developers and VCs planned to camp in Lisbon for weeks to attend each conference. A multichain world is indeed upon us.
  • Euro Invasion: Lisbon has become a hub for the crypto community, and not just for Europe. VCs from all around the world decamped over the last month to meet entrepreneurs in the city. We met VCs from across Europe but also those who flew in from NYC, SF, Singapore, and China.

Michael Joyce