Announcing our $50 million fund to elevate product & design across Web3

The modern Internet is now well beyond escape velocity. We’ll need to continuously adapt to it, and it to us. We’re betting on Web3 as the next evolution of the internet.

Foundational technologies like the computer and the Internet have fundamentally shaped the way we live, work, interact, transact, and communicate. The list goes on.

Technological innovations bring about disruption, with second and third-order effects that are hard to predict. Tools like Discord and Telegram allow us to coordinate with people all over the world in seconds. The Graph and Etherscan enable us to access unfathomable amounts of information and ideas for free. Companies like Rabbithole and Wonderverse enable a global, liquid labor force to learn new skills and contribute to digital collectives. We can become professional creators from our bedrooms with platforms like Fanhouse. Centralized groups have the power to single-handedly halt trading of internet meme stocks while decentralized groups can band together and rally behind a cause to try and purchase the Constitution. Technology goes both ways, but we believe it bends towards optimism.

Our technologies will continue to evolve at an increasing rate – as will their intended and unintended consequences – requiring even more thoughtfully architected products with deeply human-centered design.

Through it all, what enables the magical moments of speed, human connection, and learning are the products we use and how they are designed. Broader acceptance of innovative new technologies often starts with a single, groundbreaking, yet unrealized product opportunity accessed through intuitive, elegant, and familiar-feeling user experiences.

Since 2017 we’ve invested in Web3 innovators who have shaped entire categories of technologies. Dapper Labs’ novel, tech-first approach to consumer collectibles with Crypto Kitties and NBA Top Shot paved the way for the explosion of interest in NFTs. Compound Finance’s developer-first, automated market making technology laid the foundation for a still nascent, but already many-trillion-dollar decentralized financial system that can run entirely on the Internet, all over the world, 24/7/365. We strongly believe many other Chapter One companies – like The Graph, Rabbithole, Syndicate, Lolli, MoonPay, Alt to name just a few – will look similarly revolutionary in hindsight.

Onboarding the next billion users to Web3 will require thinking from first principles, encouraging exploration, abstracting complexity, prioritizing usability, and clearly demonstrating utility. To spread and succeed, Web3 needs to feel familiar, lovable, and desirable. It doesn’t today. But Web3’s next chapter is around the corner.

Groundbreaking technologies and principles underlying Web3 create massive financial, social, and cultural opportunities for everyone. Overly complex products and uninspiring user experiences are bottlenecks for mainstream Web3 adoption.

The spread of ideas depends on their ability to be understood. The adoption of technology depends on its utility and usability. Enabling the rest of the world to harness the power of Web3 requires both product and design excellence similar to how Web2 platforms have monopolized the concept of the Internet.

At Chapter One, we’re on a mission to make Web3 widely adopted. This requires rethinking the role of venture capital from first principles. So we’re building a product and design-focused startup that also happens to invest.

Core to our operator-first mindset, we are building a multidisciplinary team modeled as a high-output product org. Jeff Morris Jr. started Chapter One after leaving Tinder as VP of Product & Revenue. Mene Mazarakis joined as first hire and Investor/Chief of Staff after working in product at Novi (Meta crypto team) and Instagram. Jason Marder joined as a founding Design Partner after leading large design teams and projects at Stripe and Gusto. Doug Dyer joined as CFO after working in private equity and as a limited partner investing in funds at the Texas Children’s Hospital. We will continue to build our full-stack product team to include Data Science, Engineering, and Community.

While we have been investing in crypto since 2017, today we are going all in. We are excited to announce a $50 million fund to continue investing in generational founders who will  make crypto more accessible around the world.

Web3 products and platforms we use will need to prioritize product and design if we want to onboard the next billion users. True to our product and design focus, we will operate with a broad investing mandate. From the expanding worlds of DAOs, NFTs, and DeFi, to protocol infrastructure and gaming. We are eager to back founders that believe product and user experience are foundational to their project’s long term success.

To date we’ve made 5 investments across DAO infrastructure, NFT experiences, learn-to-earn, and are actively looking to support projects that improve usability and accessibility (say hello!).

Our small yet nimble team will help with areas such as product strategy, design sprints, go-to-market, and more.

Our Success will be based on our community’s success and the impact that our companies have towards a Web3-enabled future.

Our north star is to push the internet forward by investing in exceptional founders, products, and communities. These products will live in Web3 and we could not be more excited to continue building alongside the community. We will continue building in Web3, contributing to networks, and empowering fellow builders.

If you’re building in Web3, we’d love to chat!

Come visit our new Chapter One website. It will be a homepage for Web3 resources and content, geared towards both crypto curious and crypto native people who want to build and contribute.

In the coming months we will be launching a Web3 accelerator, a media arm focused on Web3 education, and resources for developers to build in Web3.

If you believe in pushing the progress of the Internet forward and are building in Web3, let’s build.


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