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Ship the Stars #1: Navigating Crypto Fundraising Landscape

Ship the Stars, an AMA series by Starship brings together leaders, builders, and venture capitalists to discuss entrepreneurship trends, with the inaugural episode featuring Ms. Jorinda Hsu and Ms. Daphne exploring key principles for navigating crypto fundraising and anticipating the Web3 future outlook.
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Published Jan 23 2024
Updated Jan 23 2024
4 min read

Ship the Stars is an AMA series gathering leaders, builders, and venture capitalists to discuss all the trends around the entrepreneurship landscape and explore how Starship Alliance can support builders in such a dynamic landscape. This first episode featured Ms. Jorinda Hsu (Business Partner of DWF Ventures & Incubation) and Ms. Daphne (Community Lead of Starship) to cover the key principles to navigate the crypto fundraising landscape and anticipate the Web3 future outlook.

Key Takeaways:

    The collaboration between Starship and DWF Ventures aims to support Web3 founders and bring innovation in the space.
    Starship as a veteran builder commits to provide a trusted community and access to valuable networks for builders.
    DWF Ventures provides multifaceted support to their portfolio companies, including product development, marketing strategies, economic advisory, and ecosystem management. 
    For the next cycle, innovative consumer applications are crucial for user engagement within an ecosystem. 
    Builders need to maintain a rationally optimistic mindset, balancing optimism about the future with objective pessimism during execution.

Becoming a Starship Alliance means working towards aligned values

The conversation started with the collaboration between Starship and DWF Ventures as a Starship Alliance. Ms. Jorinda admired Starship Alliance's unique approach in allowing partners to tap into the vibrant Ninety Eight ecosystem. In particular, she highlighted the strategic location of Ninety Eight in Southeast Asia, emphasizing its strong Web3 presence and the potential to access a broader international reach. Moreover, the assistance Starship provides to projects covers from capital for fundraising to growth support during post-launch. This approach quite fits in with the overall strategy of DWF Ventures when it comes to investing in early-stage companies. Particularly, DWF Ventures enforces the success of portfolio projects by investing from pre-seed to token sales and everything. 

“I think in a nutshell, working together as Starship Alliances is in alignment with what we look at in terms of supporting the whole Web3 ecosystem and building a more solid foundation for builders to come in and build projects.” - Ms. Jorinda indicated. 

As agreed by Ms. Daphne, DWF Ventures' deep understanding of the cryptocurrency market has contributed valuable insights to Starship's fundraising strategy. Both express excitement about the collaboration and the prospect of creating more equitable and accessible investment opportunities for community members. 

Principles to succeed in crypto space: More than capital

The conversation then pivoted to the challenges of building in the crypto landscape. As a veteran builder, Ms. Daphne, representing Starship, pointed out the underserved nature of the crypto fundraising market, including the lack of access to valuable networks with ventures and community resources. From the venture side, Ms. Jordinda highlighted the intense process of building, which may result in the founding team misdirecting the questions to solve or forgetting the right audience. The second challenge is learning to adapt to the new changes. Given that different initiatives roll out almost every year, the projects need to be flexible, have enough capacity to build across chains when required and act upon the right market timing. 

In light of this, both speakers share a common commitment to provide full-stack guidance for crypto startups in a wide range of manners. Specifically, Ms. Daphne pointed out Starship can serve as a high-quality fundraising platform for builders. Particularly, Starship can help builders raise community capital through token sales. Also, Starship can offer early-stage projects access to valuable networks. Similarly, Ms. Jorinda outlined four key areas of assistance coming from DWF Ventures. For technical founders with brilliant ideas, the venture team can advise and get the necessary support to help projects build the front end properly. DWF Ventures leverages its strong media presence for go-to-market strategy and connects projects to regional KOLs for access to the Western and Eastern markets. In addition, the team focuses on economics and advisory services for long-term projects and introduces all popular companies in their portfolio together if needed. 

Double down on consumer applications in the next cycle

Reflecting on the belief towards the current market and the near future, Ms. Jorinda is looking forward to witnessing more applications as a pathway to engage users into Web3 for the next cycle while comparing to the DeFi summer that started back in 2019. To prepare for the market warming up, the venture keeps an open mind regarding Web3 consumer applications. Some worth-noting categories the venture is actively looking into are trading and derivatives, Zk use cases, and the BRC20 ecosystem. It can be seen that DWF Ventures holds a balanced mixture of preferences about what comes next on Web3. On the one hand, they focus on trading and derivatives since these DeFi protocols are well-rooted in the crypto landscape, playing as a common application for a blockchain ecosystem. On the one hand, they do experiment with tapping into the nascent BRC20 ecosystem despite skepticism for a reason that the most skeptical space may have the most upsize.

Since Starship is part of the Ninety Eight ecosystem, a Web3 project that has been in the market for 6 years through multiple cycles, Ms. Daphne welcomed every project to launch on Starship during this cycle for variable support with long-term values. 

On the closing note, Ms. Jorinda shared some advice on the mindset builders should have, being rationally optimistic. Particularly, a builder should be optimistic for the future and stay objectively pessimistic for execution. This principle will allow projects to have a smooth execution in the long run. 

The recording of this AMA can be found at: