Thursday Thoughts #1
Impossible Finance - Calvin Chu
Hello world, and welcome to the first issue of our new format: Thursday Thoughts. Each week (in addition to our Tuesday newsletter), founders and investors will share their thoughts on fundraising trends and strategy.
Impossible Finance is building a multi-chain ecosystem for promoting the growth of DeFi liquidity and composability. They recently announced their raise of over $7M, co-led by True Ventures, CMS Holdings, Alameda Research, and Hashed.
Calvin Chu was kind enough to outline his views on different topics.
More than 125 investors participated in your latest fundraising round - how did you manage to put together a well-thought seed round?
It wasn’t easy, but to raise a launchpad child you need a village. We were really excited to share our experiences with regards to the past projects we’ve supported and were able to leverage a lot of the existing builder communities that we were already a part of. We believe that builders attract builders, so once you find a few good contributors who came in and helped shape up our whitepaper, suddenly 80 people were in our working livepaper Google Doc offering ideas and suggestions.
You decided to initially launch on BSC - how do you think this impacted the fundraise?
Most folks were not particularly concerned which chain(s) we support, but we do have a plan to support multiple EVM chains, which made folks more indifferent about which chain(s) we start on. Given our experience from other centralized exchanges such as Binance, we see a unique opportunity of “exchange” chains being great gateways for global retail users to enter the DeFi markets. We’re also equally excited by Ethereum, all other EVM chains, and L2 such as Polygon, Avalanche, Fantom, Moonbeam, Arbitrum, and more which will have good ways for users to bridge assets from Ethereum itself.
Impossible Finance plans to offer support and assistance for builders via an incubator - was it an asset to get participation from prominent angel investors who are also building?
Yes - much as traditional incubators see a lot of incredible fireside chats and great operators come as guest speakers, we are seeing the same effects in the digital space. We think it’s an incredible network to have to be able to help and connect folks from these various backgrounds and angles of crypto to hopefully help strengthen all of our future incubated projects.
You have personally helped Polygon ecosystem projects at various stages, from hackathons to fundraising - how did that experience help you to raise funds?
I’ve always been a hackathon goer myself since my freshman year of college - it was how I got to get free food on the weekends and visit my friends at other schools with a free bus ride, but it’s also where I learned to code, build creative projects with random strangers, and compete for prizes from API sponsors. We met Sandeep and the Matic team, as well as many other launchpads, such as Mo Dong of Celer, at hackathons such as ETH SF 2018. The same hustle and dedication to building for developers is part of what helped ensure great quality dealflow at the past projects we operated, and now are excited to carry the same approaches to the Impossible launchpad.
What did you wish you knew before you started this fundraising round? Any other advice for founders fundraising right now?
Legal stuff takes time - always plan ahead, and be realistic with timelines. Also, make sure you make all addresses copyable in your SAFTs and make your PDF searchable!
Confirm clear deadlines for investors to respond, and also don’t be afraid to ask new people to join your round - if the only people you raise from are people that you already have in your network, maybe you’re not using this opportunity enough to expand your audience or diversify your reach.
Thanks again Calvin for your valuable insights.
See you on Tuesday for Dove Mountain Weekly #5,
The Dove Mountain Team