Hashed Interview: Michael Arrington, Arrington XRP Capital, “The Korean Market Is Important”


well first of all Mike thank you we’re going to do this you’re welcome I’m so excited to be here just got off a panel together I know we did it was good that’s great you were have to stop you a few times you did you cut me off that was less great but you know good I’ve seen you a bunch of times we hang on the time we’re friends don’t we are religious opping together we do but I’ve seen you more in Asia Guerra loving jr. and and more and more sudden San Francisco so can you we talk about this all the time but I just want you to hammer down yeah yeah well so I we talked about on stage today why are so few American investors coming to Asia and we talked about why that’s that’s interesting but why am I here and and and I’ve been to keep coming back to Korea and as I said on stage that part of it’s just that we’ve seen so many great deals and all of them introduced by you and we just keep making money and you know that’s important because we have investors we have to make money for them and so the continued business success we’ve had here means I’m going to spend and continue to spend a lot of time here we also go to Singapore quite a bit we and we have a lot of friends there and there’s a lot of crypto stuff going on there this is a much sort of flight than Singapore though yeah single force brutal yeah and we actually haven’t done many Singapore deals but you know there’s a lot of conferences and events er but Korea is is fantastic you know and before you invited me last year I’d never been never know with all those years in TechCrunch and then we came out here well what a TechCrunch was obviously a blog a news site in Silicon Valley and before crypto tech was centered in Silicon Valley and everybody would come to me right and so the VCS really never changed never never leave either because everybody comes to Sand Hill Road or San Francisco crypto is it’s a different world and if you want to get in the best deals you have to go where the deals are and and that means Asia and in particular Korea and and I’m willing to do it so yeah so you’re saying missed opportunity for your peers in debate I don’t understand it I think you know I tell them and they just don’t want to hear it so yeah good for us is this very different than all your years at crunch fund yeah yeah being a venture so quick photos event venture firm right right and early-stage which is exciting and similar to crypto in the sense of early stages usually pre product or products just come out and so you don’t know yet there’s no revenue you’re making a lot of guesses about whether the product will be successful later stage venture you’re you’re actually using financial metrics to make your businesses so it’s similar in that way and then a lot of the crypto stuff we do you’re making you’re making investment decisions before you have any idea how it’s going to do but this has the added dimension if it goes liquid very early hmm and then you have to choose did not sell or sell and I find that fun and also the the crypto markets are so volatile that you have these things greatly compacted business cycles and so everything just move so fast and I love that yeah now what about what about on stage you were talking about gaps right yeah and services that the consumer portion that’s missing in the US have you had a chance to look at any of those in Asia no well some but nothing I’ve liked but I was just talking to your team and I know that you guys through your accelerator or your EQ Bator you call it are gonna start really focusing on gaming I know you’ll do other stuff as well and that to me is good like if you’re if because Korea is an important market for gaming and if you’re doing all the filtering for us and we can look at those deals that’s gonna be something we’re really going to look at yeah I’ve seen some gaming stuff in the US have you have any of them come across your desk you don’t mean gambling right not gambling just getting stuff right I’ve read in the news about some stuff but we haven’t looked at any deals yet cool and this is really timely because just a few days ago it’ll pay coin Tesoro in bull run again yeah what’s I mean you’re focusing a lot more on handling live assets right a lot more yeah what’s that been like for the team like what’s the outlook like for this year well so we we were we’re hedge fund but last year we were acting like a venture fund and doing deals and if we when we liquidated positions we go back into ether or Bitcoin and we were doing next to no trading we have core positions in crypto currencies but next to no trading I’ve merged with another hedge fund another funds just a month ago and it was announced a week ago and these guys are hard core like technical and fundamental traders and so they and we have started trading aggressively and exactly the right time and so that’s Derek or focus of ours it’s greedy which again in the u.s. those funds don’t touch that stuff right yeah you know I realized like we’ve gone back and forth about crypto but I’ve actually never heard what got you into all of this stuff when once you want the true answer like the kind of the marketing answer let’s get the true answer all right so the true answer is it happened because of a date with a girl really yeah so I was in crypto in the sense that I bought some Bitcoin and ether like everyone else in Silicon Valley was like twenty seventeen sixteen thirty thirteen okay yeah and not a lot but enough to understand it because we were doing some some crypto investments through my venture fund so but in 2017 in march 21 I had a date with a girl Natalia who you met right she was in crypto and and she was encrypted when she was getting ready to an ICO their company’s called proppy my PR opy and and she was telling about these icy O’s and I hadn’t pay much attention to him and it sounded like a like a scale mm and like a pyramid scheme and but I kept talking her about it and I started doing a couple of deals and you know in 2017 it would have been hard to lose money on ICS right I’m right just about through much anything yeah so I invested in a few things and thought well I’m really I’m really good at this some really good money and I decided at that point to raise a fund right because venture funds have trouble making a lot of we still like knee-deep in crunch fund yeah yeah and I wanted I tried to push my partner to let’s start another all crypto front and he he’s didn’t have the passion for it and so I decided to do it on my own and and then I raised pretty quickly and I decided to do a hedge fund I thought that made the most sense right and that’s how I gonna do it so very cool yeah all right any any outlooks for the future you can share with our audience it’s gonna be wrong it’s gonna be wrong maybe we could record like five and you could cut them and then add the right one in because I I don’t pretend to know I was talking to so 2018 was a rough year yeah we closed our fund we made some investments in seventeen but they were like before we close we closed our fund the first like January 2nd or 3rd the high point of the market was like a few days later it’s over a few days I’m like this is great you know we’ve made 10% returns in a week and then the market fell apart and then it was 50 weeks of 51 weeks of hell right 51 weeks yeah yeah and and so I don’t obviously I’m not good at predicting markets I idea is that this is going to be an extremely important part of the world economy at some point in the next few years and therefore I need to place some bets put myself in a good position and if we do well we’ll do four well for our investors beyond that I have no idea no I mean you’ve been doing venture for a while so that one panel I was at may be able to the IBM event right and you were talking about just being early investing a lot of funds being a good investor yeah that’s right that’s a strategy that worked out really well for you I just want you Michael laid out well Tara is an example like I when I there was some like Alex today had passed on Tara he’s super smart he’s more than me different Alex Alex PAC yeah Ryan black you also are super smooth thank you but Alex passed on Tara and we were talking about wine he had some very good reasons for passing yeah he did my reason for investing is it’s a same reason we’re invested in uber when uber made no sense like it just it’s obvious to me that Tara’s gonna be spectacularly I should have a question on that I saw the uber deck but they raised with you actually committed on that deck yeah if you go back we would uber just launched before they’d ever raise it and TK like like wasn’t quite involved the founder was not gonna be an operator of this yeah yeah well at first he was just like the founder although he was it’s not his original idea it’s get cancer exactly but Garrett wasn’t actually one of you know no he never was involved right look I still made it made the investment did because if you you can actually see like I wrote about our tech rep said well this is spectacular and this is when uber was just black cars right and I could already see how it’s a black car but it’s a phone with an app you can put a phone with an app at anyone’s car and they can become a taxi and I wrote about that and so I just you could tell I got it and I look I’ve made some bad calls I first article about Twitter was that Twitter wasn’t gonna be a stupid failure so I I mess up all the time but it’s okay if you mess up is sometimes you’re right in venture and so I got it so for me Tara and a couple other deals we invested in last year are just obviously huge winners and I’m very excited about them but I think when it’s all said and done we will have made a lot of money in 2018 when those investors play out just like I think you guys will even though it was a brutal year and yeah so I invested my gut quite often but now my new guys from bite size Capitol they’re very much like number crunchers and I actually think that makes a good partnership where I have my gut they have the numbers we fight if we come to a decision I think it’s more likely to be a good one very cool so yeah but I just want to thank you like I’m only here because of hashed I only came last time because of hashed and if you guys hadn’t pushed me to come out here and be part of the ecosystem here I would have I would have ever come yeah we’re gonna make you come out again like I was here anytime you yeah very cool yeah thank you so thank you so much for your time yeah let’s go some dinner yeah let’s do it

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