‘In our early days, we were really hustlers’: The founder of a $75 million crypto fund shares his best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs
- Kyle Samani, a cofounder and managing partner of the crypto fund Multicoin Capital who was recently named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30” finance list, shared the story of his entrepreneurial journey and gave some advice to aspiring startup founders.
- “Find your passion, and figure out how to do that 20 hours per day,” he said.
Sometimes failure doesn’t have to be devastating — it might lead to a breakthrough moment. That describes Kyle Samani’s journey to becoming a technology entrepreneur.
Samani, 28, is a cofounder and managing partner of Multicoin Capital, a fund based in Austin, Texas, that exclusively invests in the crypto space. He was also recently named to Forbes’ “30 Under 30” finance list.
Samani started programming at age 11, but he didn’t think he was born to be an entrepreneur. He went to New York University to study finance and thought he would climb the corporate ladder on Wall Street. But after college, he realized his passion was really in high-growth technology businesses and startups.
In 2013, Samani cofounded his first company, Pristine, which built Google Glass software for surgeons. Though Google Glass was not a well-received consumer product, it was an interesting tool for certain types of workers, Samani said.
Despite raising over $5 million in venture capital and hiring about 30 employees, Samani ended up finding a new strategy for Pristine after Google halted consumer sales of Google Glass in 2015.
In March 2016, Samani stumbled upon Ethereum, which opened the next chapter in his life and eventually led him to the world of crypto investment. Samani said he was drawn to Ethereum because of its open-source platform.
“I felt the pain of platform risk when Google literally pulled the rug out from under me,” he said. The idea of having an open platform where this couldn’t happen was appealing to him.
He spent hours learning about cryptocurrency and launched Multicoin Capital in August 2017.
“In our early days, we were really hustlers,” Samani said.
“When we were raising early capital, we had no brand, no track record, and no operational infrastructure,” he added. “We reached out to everyone in our networks, our friends, our families, our friends’ friends, and the network of other entrepreneurs.”
Multicoin Capital has grown fast since then. The crypto fund now has $75 million in assets under management and is backed by mainstream investors like Marc Andreessen, the Andreessen Horowitz partner, and David Sacks, the former PayPal exec and Yammer CEO.
Here’s Samani’s best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:
Find your passion and follow it.
To Samani, passion is the thread running through his entrepreneurial journey and supporting his working 15 to 20 hours a day.
“Follow your passions, even if starting a company is grueling and hard,” he said. “There are going to be days that you feel everything is going wrong. The way you will make it through this is by fixating on what you are really, truly passionate about. So, find your passion, and figure out how to do that 20 hours per day.”
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
“People in the entrepreneur world come from all different majors. If you need help with meeting investors, thinking about financial modeling, and recruiting, just ask these people. Even if they are not the right person to help you, they will probably know somebody who is.”
Be thankful and gracious to the people around you.
“The entrepreneur community today is so robust and helpful. Reach out to make those people help you, and then return the favor as hard as you can. Sometimes you won’t be able to return a favor, but at the very least reach out and let them know you’re grateful. I just considered it as my personal mandate to pay it forward. I cannot repay a lot of help, so I pay it forward to the next batch of entrepreneurs. Be thankful, and let them know you are appreciative, and pass it forward.”
- Rising stars from Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Blackstone share their best career advice
- Wall Street regulators are stepping up enforcement actions against cryptocurrency investments — and it could add legitimacy to the nascent market in the long-run
- 11 books Wall Streeters think everyone should read
This is a subscriber-only story. To read the full article, simply click here to claim your deal and get access to all exclusive Business Insider PRIME content.